ATLANTA, GA — Newsweek released its list of the best public high schools in the country Thursday morning.
Several Atlanta-area schools were included in the list, with Johns Creek’s Northview High School topping the state’s rankings at 132.
There are several different school rankings published, particularly as school bells are dusted off in late summer. Newsweek consistently stands out as a college-prep barometer, and rankings are routinely promoted by schools and school districts that perform well, and coveted by those that don’t.
Newsweek’s school rankings are borne of the magazine’s research, along with the analytics firm Westat. They use objective measurements to put together the annual ranking of the country’s best high schools.
Here’s a list of the Georgia schools among Newsweek’s Top High Schools 2016:
132. Northview High School, Johns Creek
177. DeKalb School of the Arts, Avondale Estates
281. Chattahoochee High School, Johns Creek
297. Pope High School, Marietta
334. Harrison High School, Kennesaw
392. Oconee County High School, Watkinsville
431. Chamblee Charter High School, Chamblee
435. Lakeside High School, Evans
447. Brookwood High School, Snellville
485. Columbus High School, Columbus
So, how do they come up with the rankings?
Newsweek looked at six measurements and weighted them to come up with a “college readiness index.” The rankings are meant to show how well high schools do at preparing students for college.
Those measurements and their weight are:
- Holding power: 10 percent
- Ratio of counselor/full-time equivalent to student enrollment: 10 percent
- Weighted SAT/ACT: 17.5 percent
- Weighted AP/IB/dual enrollment composite: 17.5 percent
- Graduation rate: 20 percent
- College enrollment rate: 25 percent
In all, 6,477 of the nation’s 15,819 public high schools met the criteria to be considered in Newsweek’s rankings.
Newsweek used school performance data from the National Center for Education Statistics to narrow down the list of schools.
Of those 6,477 schools, 4,760 were considered for the overall rankings, while 4,452 made the cut for another list of schools that were “beating the odds.” (Many schools made both lists.)
For the the “beating the odds” rankings, a school’s college readiness scores were adjusted for how they compared against other schools that had similar percentages of students eligible for free or reduced lunch.
Here are the Georgia schools among those that “Beat the Odds:”
74. Muscogee County School District, Columbus
97. DeKalb School of the Arts, Avondale Estates
287. The Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology, Lawrenceville
345. Columbus High School, Columbus
364. Pope High School, Marietta
375. Parkview High School, Lilburn
399. Central Gwinnett High School, Lawrenceville
410. Buford High School, Buford
434. Norcross HS, Norcross
441. Hillgrove High School, Powder Springs
Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Va., took the top spot again in 2016 for a third year in a row. The school has been a regular powerhouse on previous best schools rankings and puts an emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics classes.
“We’re preparing kids to go into fields that have yet to be invented,” Principal Evan Glazer told Newsweek last year. “We’re really focusing more on skills and an appreciation for STEM. But if they decide to become journalists, we convey that they have a unique knowledge base in STEM. They would be able to contribute to articles on energy, the environment, and government policy on those important issues.”