Utica high schools named among best in state

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Two Utica Community Schools high schools have been honored as being among the most challenging in the nation, including one recognized as the top school in the State of Michigan.

The Utica Academy for International Studies and Eisenhower High School have been named two of America's Most (Academically) Challenging High Schools.

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UAIS was ranked the state's most challenging high school and 38th in the nation. Eisenhower High School was named the 24th most challenging high school in Michigan and the 1,639th in the nation.

The two schools are the only Macomb County schools included in the state designation.

"I commend the students and staff at the Utica Academy for International Studies and Eisenhower High School for their diligent focus on academics and preparing graduates to be career and college ready," said Superintendent Dr. Christine Johns.

America's most challenging high schools were determined by the Washington Post through the creation of a "Challenge Index."

The Challenge Index score is the number of college-level tests given at a school in 2012 divided by the number of graduates that year.

"Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and the Advanced International Certificate of Education are important because they give average students a chance to experience the trauma of heavy college reading lists and long, analytical college examinations," said Jay Mathews, who has coordinated the study since 1998.

Now in its fifth year, the Utica Academy for International Studies offers Utica Community Schools students the opportunity to prepare for the International Baccalaureate Diploma – a high school diploma recognized by universities around the world. Utica Community Schools is the only Michigan district that operates a non-consortium International Baccalaureate high school in which all students must complete the full IB diploma curriculum.

Eisenhower High School is recognized as a Michigan Exemplary Blue Ribbon High School. It has also been recognized as one of America's outstanding high schools by Newsweek.

For more information on the challenge index, please see this link: http://apps.washingtonpost.com/local/highschoolchallenge/schools/2013/list/national/

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