Newsweek is out with its list of top 500 U.S. high schools and none from Georgia cracks the top 100. The highest rank goes to Northview High School in Fulton County at 132.
Newsweek says high schools earn their spots through proficiency rates on state standardized assessments as well as the number of counselors, college acceptance and enrollment, SAT and ACT participation and performance, AP, IB, and AICE participation and performance and dual enrollments. Most of the very top schools on the list have poverty levels under 12 percent.
DeKalb, Fulton and Cobb each have two schools on the list. Here are the other Georgia schools on the top 500 list besides Northview:
DeKalb School of the Arts (DeKalb): 177
Chattahoochee (Fulton): 281
Pope (Cobb): 297
Harrison (Cobb) 334
Oconee County (Oconee): 392
Chamblee (DeKalb): 431
Lakeside (Columbia County): 435
Brookwood (Gwinnett): 447
Columbus (Muscogee): 485
Here is a comment from a Newsweek reader on a concern being raised about Newsweek's methodology:
No disrespect intended to any school that ranks on this list -- they obviously do amazing work by nearly any standard. However, Newsweek can't continue to evaluate specialty magnet schools in the same way you evaluate general high schools that do not specialize in STEM, fine arts or anything that narrows the field of potential students.
You have specialty schools that rank at or near the top claiming less than a few percentage points of students living in poverty while further down the list you've got schools where a significant chunk of students are economically disadvantaged. How can you say those schools are achieving similar levels of success when their student populations are so dramatically different? Give me a student population with less than 5% living economically disadvantaged and you should be surprised if the school isn't pushing close to 100% graduation rates and college acceptances.
Newsweek offers a second Beating the Odds list of 500 schools that recognizes, "schools that do an excellent job of preparing their students for college while also overcoming the obstacles posed by students at an economic disadvantage."
Here are the Georgia schools on that list and their ranking:
DeKalb School of the Arts: 97
Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology (Gwinnett): 287
Columbus High School: 345
Pope High School: 364
Parkview (Gwinnett) 375
Central Gwinnett High School: 399
Buford High School: 410
Norcross (Gwinnett): 434
Hillgrove (Cobb): 441