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Mercer Island High School ranks 14th in magazine's Best High Schools in Washington state
Mercer Island High School is ranked 14th within Washington state and 559th in the nation, in U.S. News and World Report magazine's latest 'Best of High Schools' survey.
The schools are ranked according to student-to-teacher ratios, Advanced Placement test scores, and the percentage of students who achieve state standards in math and reading.
According to the standards used by the magazine researchers, the International School in Bellevue — with 530 students — ranked first in the state and ninth in the nation. Newport High School ranked third in the state; Bellevue High School, fourth; Interlake High School, fifth; Aviation High School, seventh, and Garfield High School in Seattle, 10th.
However, Mercer Island High School ranked third out of all Washington state high schools for math proficiency, with 81 percent of all students achieving state standards for mathematics. MIHS also tied for the third highest rank in reading proficiency, with 95 percent of all Islander students achieving or exceeding state standards.
The Mercer Island High School student body is 54 percent male and 46 percent female. There are a total of 1,433 students with 63 teachers. The ratio of students to teachers is 23:1. The highest ranked Washington state school had a student-to-teacher ratio of 20 to 1.
"To help explain why class size data for MIHS is comparable with some schools but not all top ranked schools, one needs to note that school districts receive different funding levels from both state and federal sources to deliver public education," Mercer Island School District Superintendent Gary Plano explained. "We do not receive as many dollars from the state and federal sources because of our high socio-economics."
There are 254 school districts in Washington state, with more than 330,000 students.
Mercer Island High School students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement coursework and exams. Slightly over half of students take advanced placement classes, but taking the AP test for college credit is optional.
Plano adds, "Unlike schools in the Bellevue School District, we do not require all students to take at least one AP class."
The school does not offer an International Baccalaureate program.
Rankings aside, Plano said, "I continue to be proud of our students and staff to be among the best high schools in the state and nation.