Metro Atlanta well represented on list of best high schools in the U.S.

Georgia ranked 18th among states, tied with Virginia, for the percentage of  schools making the “best” list. Eighty-four Georgia high schools, about 14 percent, got there.

Gwinnett County, the state’s largest school district, had 10 schools on the list, the most among metro districts.

Gwinnett School of Mathematics Science and Technology, a school perennially ranked high on such tallies, is the highest-ranked Georgia school.  

Cobb County had eight schools on the list, Fulton seven, DeKalb four and Clayton two. Decatur’s high school made it, too.


The list categorizes the best schools as gold, silver or bronze medal winners, with gold and silver awards reflecting best preparation of students for college, based partly on their participating in and passing  Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests.

For a school to be eligible for a gold or silver medal, its students must also do well on statewide tests and graduate at high rates.

All seven Fulton County high schools on the list are gold-medal schools. 

Gwinnett has two gold- and eight silver-medal schools; DeKalb has two gold, one silver and one bronze; Cobb has one gold and seven silver.

Both Clayton County schools on the list are silver-medal schools.

Only 38 states and the District of Columbia had at least one school that earned a gold medal, and six of those states had only one.

U.S. News evaluates more than 20,500 public high schools nationwide. It says it looks at the proportion of students who exceed academic expectations, taking into account how many of a school’s students are from low-income families.

It also factors in graduation rates and students’ performance on state tests.

Anita Narayan, U.S. News managing editor, said, “Top-ranked schools succeed in three main areas: exceeding expectations on state proficiency tests, offering challenging coursework and graduating their students.” 

These are U.S. News’ top 10 Georgia schools, and their school districts:

  1. Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology, Gwinnett County
  2. DeKalb School of the Arts, DeKalb County
  3. Columbus High School, Muscogee County
  4. Davidson Magnet School, Richmond County
  5. Savannah Arts Academy, Chatham County
  6. Cambridge High School, Fulton County
  7. Alpharetta high School, Fulton County
  8. Johns Creek High School, Fulton County
  9. Walton High School, Cobb County
  10. Northview High School, Fulton County 

This article was written by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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