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Long Island City HS is top notch

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Queens dominated the small number of city schools that made Newsweek's annual list of America's top public high schools, but the Big Apple did not have any contenders among the top 200 out of 1,358.

The High School for Arts and Business in Corona was the top-ranked school in New York City, coming in at 219. Townsend Harris High School in Flushing was next at No. 327. Francis Lewis High School in Fresh Meadows made the list at 558, while Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside was listed at 761. Long Island City High School was the last of the borough schools on the list at 1,183.

Three other city schools made the list: Brooklyn's Midwood High School at 707, Edward Murrow High School in Brooklyn at 1,093, and the Bronx's DeWitt Clinton High School at 1,213.

The top school in the state was City Honors High School in Buffalo, which ranked 11th in the nation. BASIS Charter School in Tuscon, Ariz., took the top spot among the 1,358 schools on the list this year.

Most Queens schools also appeared to be moving up the ratings list. Arts and Business was ranked 230th in 2006 but did not make the 2007 list. Townsend Harris debuted at 863 in 2006 and moved up to 382 in 2007. Cardozo was ranked 923rd when it made the list for the first time in 2007.

Long Island City has been moving down, however, since it first made the list at 173 in 2003.

The ratings derive from a ratio Newsweek calls the Challenge Index. The magazine's researchers divided the total number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or Cambridge tests given at a school in May by the number of seniors graduating in May or June. All schools that scored a 1.000 or better were included on the list.

Parents upset to see their child's elite public schools missing from the list can take solace: Three schools, Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and Hunter College High School, were excluded from the list because the schools draw only the top performing students on special admissions exams.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jwalsh@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

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