U.S. News ranks one metro Atlanta school in top 10 nationally

Although it’s not always an indicator of success or failure, attending the right high school can give your kid a boost in life.

Each year, U.S. News & World Report analyzes data on nearly 24,000 schools to determine the best in the country. The top U.S. public schools in 2021 Best High Schools rankings are those whose students “demonstrated outstanding outcomes above expectations in math and reading state assessments, earned qualifying scores in an array of college-level exams, and graduated in high proportions.”

Two Georgia schools made it into the top 100, with one landing in the top 10.

With a score of 99.95 out of a possible 100, Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology finished No. 9 nationally and No. 1 in Georgia. Ranking No. 94 nationally and No. 2 in Georgia — with a score of 99.47 — was Columbus High School in Muscogee County.

How rankings were determined

With North Carolina-based RTI International, a global nonprofit social science research firm, U.S. News ranked about 17,860 public high schools out of the nearly 24,000 reviewed. Schools had a 12th grade enrollment of 15 or more, or otherwise had sufficient enrollment in other high school grades during the 2018-2019 school year to be analyzed.

U.S. News then added up each school’s weighted scores across six indicators of school quality, then computed a single zero to 100 overall score reflective of a school’s performance across these metrics. The overall scores depict how well each school did on a national percentile basis.

This is the third year the high school rankings have been calculated using the current methodology, so only the 2021, 2020 and 2019 rankings can be compared with one another. You can read the full methodology on the U.S. News website.

Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology

GSMST opened in 2007 on the campus of Duluth High School but with its own faculty and administration. Three years later, its state-of-the-art facility on the site of the old Benefield Elementary School in Lawrenceville, at the geographic center of Gwinnett County, opened in the fall of 2010.

All rankings:

The student body at the school is 82% minority — 46% Asian, 22% Black, 18% white, 10% Hispanic, 4% two or more races, and 0.1% American Indian/Alaska native. Gender distribution is nearly even, with 46% female and 54% male. The advanced placement participation rate is 100%.

Columbus High School

The only other Georgia school to make it into the top 100 was Columbus High School in Muskogee County, coming in at No. 94 nationally and No. 2 in Georgia with a score of 99.47.

Columbus’ student body is 45% minority — 55% white, 22% Black, 11% Asian, 7% Hispanic, 5% two or more races, 0.2% American Indian/Alaska native, and 0.2% native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander. Female students make up 57% of the school.