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Wednesday, May 3, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Newsweek: 4 Bellevue schools rank among top 100 in nation

Seattle Times Eastside bureau

Four schools in the Bellevue School District have been ranked among the top 100 public high schools in America, according to this week's Newsweek magazine.

This is the third time in a row Newsweek has ranked three of Bellevue's high schools in the top 50, and the first time the district has had four in the top 100.

Bellevue's top-100-ranked schools include Newport High at 37th, Interlake High at 44th, Bellevue High at 49th and International School at 57th. Bellevue is the only district in the Pacific Northwest that has any high schools in the top 100.

"I'm proud of our schools, and I think this is a measurement worth taking a look at," said Bellevue Superintendent Mike Riley. "On the other hand, I don't think any one measurement is an indication that everything is wonderful. Every school has its strengths and weaknesses."

Some schools' rankings have slipped slightly when compared with previous years. In 2005, Interlake was 24th, Newport 32nd and Bellevue 41st. In 2003, Newsweek ranked Bellevue, Newport and International in the top 20. Newsweek did not rank schools in 2004.

Newsweek's rankings are based on the total number of college-level tests, such as Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate, given by a school in May, divided by the number of seniors graduating in May or June.

Bellevue has been known for its focus on getting students to take AP or IB classes. In 2005, 84 percent of Bellevue high-school students took an AP or IB course. The district administered 3,700 culminating tests for those students to get college credit for those courses, Riley said. This year, the district will administer 4,600 tests, he said.

"I don't know if we'll see our ranking go up or down or sideways a year from now," Riley said. "But we've seen a 25 percent increase in the number of tests administered this year, and I'm delighted by that."

Rachel Tuinstra: 206-515-5637 or rtuinstra@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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