ASMSA listed among Washington Post’s Public Elites

1 year ago

The Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts has been recognized by The Washington Post as one of the nation’s top performing public high schools in the nation.

The publication released its list of America’s Most Challenging High Schools on May 5. The list ranks schools on how successfully they challenge their average students and prepare them for college. It is developed by Jay Mathews, an education blogger and columnist for the Post.

In addition to the larger list, Mathews creates a second list of top-performing public high schools with elite students to recognize their exceptional quality, admission rules and standardized test scores that indicate they have few or no average students. The list is often referred to as the Public Elites list.

ASMSA was placed on the Public Elites list along with 25 other schools. It is the third year in a row that ASMSA has appeared on the Public Elites list. It had often been ranked highly in the Challenge Index list previously.

Director Corey Alderdice said ASMSA’s inclusion on the list speaks to the dedication of all involved with the school.

“ASMSA's continued inclusion as part of the Public Elites is a testament to the commitment to excellence of our students, faculty and staff,” he said. “Every member of our community of learning makes the decision each day to embrace the opportunities in front of them and grow as both learners and leaders.”

While the name “Public Elites” can at times suggest exclusivity, Alderdice stressed that ASMSA is an elite opportunity available to students from across Arkansas.

“Though Mathew's uses the term 'elite' to describe our students, it's important to observe that our community of learning is one of the most geographically, economically, and racially diverse schools among this year's cohort,” Alderdice said.

This year’s list includes six other residential science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) schools that ASMSA considers peer institutions: Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Sciences in Kentucky; Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy; Louisiana School for Math, Sciences and the Arts; North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics; Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics; and the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics.
Others on the list such as Bronx High School of Science in New York, Bergen County Academies in New Jersey, Stuyvesant High School in New York and Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Virginia are members of the National Consortium for Specialized STEM Schools, in which ASMSA also participates.

ASMSA draws students from all across Arkansas. ASMSA being included on the list proves that Arkansas schools are preparing talented and motivated students to succeed in the future.

“There has never been a question that Arkansas is rich with motivated and aspirational young people,” Alderdice said. “ASMSA is fortunate to continue to build on the outstanding work of educators in districts across our state to further cultivate the talents of these future leaders.  Such recognition belongs to all educators who champion opportunities for gifted students.”

To view the full Public Elites list, visit To view the America’s Most Challenging High School list, visit

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