SM East again makes Washington Post ‘Most Challenging Schools’ list

The Washington Post's newest rankings of the "most challenging" high schools in the country puts SM East and two other Shawnee Mission schools in good company.
The Washington Post’s newest rankings of the “most challenging” high schools in the country puts SM East and two other Shawnee Mission schools in good company.

SM East is among the five most challenging high schools in the state, according to a new set of rankings released by the Washington Post.

The paper’s “America’s Most Challenging High Schools” list ranks schools with a formula that takes the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests administered at a school each year, divided by the number of graduating seniors.

The top five ranked schools in Kansas were the Sumner Academy of Arts and Science (339), Blue Valley North (866), Blue Valley High School (920), Blue Valley Northwest (1,213) and SM East (1,257). Two other Shawnee Mission high schools, SM South (1,650) and SM Northwest (1,770) made the list as well. All five Blue Valley schools made the list.

Shawnee Mission superintendent Jim Hinson said the rankings were “a reflection of the hard work and dedication of our students and staff who challenge themselves to excel and achieve each day in our schools.”

In 2013, SM East was ranked 944 overall. In 2012, it was ranked 999. SM South made the list in 2013 as well, but SM Northwest did not.

This years rankings included 2,025 schools across the country, 10 of which were in the state of Kansas. Twelve Missouri schools made the list, including Park Hill Senior High, Park Hill South and North Kansas City High School in the Kansas City area.