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157 Montgomery County Public School Students Are National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

There are 157 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists from Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) in the 2011 competition, eight more than the previous year. The semifinalists will go on to compete nationally for scholarships that will be offered in the spring. The competition is sponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. 

The MCPS semifinalists come from 16 high schools. The schools and their number of semifinalists are:

Bethesda-Chevy Chase: 8
Montgomery Blair: 40
Blake: 1
Winston Churchill: 13
Clarksburg: 1
Einstein: 1
Poolesville:  9
Quince Orchard: 2
Richard Montgomery: 30
Rockville: 1
Seneca Valley: 1
Springbrook: 3
Walter Johnson: 7
Walt Whitman: 24
Watkins Mill: 1
Wootton: 15

Poolesville High School Ranks #60 on Newsweek’s list of Top 100 Public High Schools in the U.S.

The 2010 America's Best High Schools list ranks schools based on their efforts to provide all students access to rigorous classes, such as Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. Students who succeed in rigorous classes, like AP, are more than three times as likely to get a bachelor’s degree than those who do not, according to college completion data.  Among MCPS students in the classes of 2001-2004, only 25 percent of those who did not take an AP exam earned a bachelor’s degree. But among those students who took at least one AP exam, 60 percent earned a degree, and among those who scored 3 or higher on at least one exam, 76 percent earned a bachelor’s degree.

Maryland schools battle with limited funding and space as enrollment grows by Michael Bimbaum, WAPO

Michael Bimbaum for the Washington Post reports: More than 200,000 Maryland students streamed back to crowded classrooms Monday as school systems dealt with growth but little money to hire more teachers.

In Montgomery County, the state's largest school system, parents said they were anxious about increased class sizes but sanguine about the schools' future under a successor to Superintendent Jerry D. Weast, who is retiring in June. Enrollment swelled by 2,200 students -- 1.5 percent -- this year, hundreds more than forecast. Howard and Charles counties also returned to school Monday.