Roosevelt Recognized by Washington Post as One of America’s Top College-Prep Schools

rooseveltchallengingRoosevelt High School continues to rank as one of the top schools in Iowa – and the nation – when it comes to preparing students for post-secondary education, according to the list of America’s Most Challenging High Schools Challenge released by the Washington Post. Roosevelt’s score, and ranking, on the Post’s index also moved up this year, consistent with the district-wide effort to increase access to Advanced Placement courses in Des Moines.

Roosevelt is one of only seven high schools in Iowa included in the ranking. Of the approximately 22,000 high schools in the United States, only 9% were eligible for the Post’s listing.

The Iowa high schools, and their score on the Washington Post Index, are:


Cedar Rapids Washington 3.512


Cedar Rapids John F. Kennedy 3.278


Des Moines Roosevelt 2.490


Ames 2.003


Decorah 1.186


Iowa City High 1.164


Cedar Rapids Xavier 1.061

“Roosevelt students, like students throughout the school district, are to be commended for stepping up and taking more challenging AP courses that will better prepare them for college and beyond,” said principal Kevin Biggs. “This recognition also speaks highly of our teachers and their work to make these courses available to more and more students.”

The Post began the index in 1998 as a way to measure how well high schools in the Washington, DC-area were preparing students for college. Starting in 2011, the newspaper looked at schools across the nation. The Post ranks high schools by dividing the number of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests given in 2013 by the number of graduating seniors. The Post notes that the index is not meant to rank the overall quality of a school but to look at the effort to prepare students for college.

Roosevelt, which was ranked fourth in Iowa last year, has been on the Post’s national list since it was created four years ago. Roosevelt’s score this year of 2.490 is up from last year’s mark of 1.992 and the school’s 2012 score of 1.698.

Des Moines Public Schools has put a major emphasis on expanding access to Advanced Placement classes throughout the school district. Over the past three years, AP course enrollment has quadrupled and the number of AP exams has doubled in Des Moines. As a result, for the first time ever, all five DMPS high schools are currently ranked on the Iowa AP Index of Top 50 high schools issued by the Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa.

For more information on the Washington Post High School Challenge Index, visit

DMPS-TV Video with Roosevelt Principal Kevin Biggs