Ten Georgia high schools make Newsweek’s top 500 list. Fulton, DeKalb and Cobb lead list.

On a list of 500 best high schools in America, Northview High in Fulton took spot 132, the highest ranking for a Georgia school.

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


Reader Comments 0

Phil Dodge
Phil Dodge

And these 10 schools, while being labeled "The Best" in the country, can only average a 92 on the state CCRPI.


S. Forsyth and Lambert have CCRPI scores of 97 and 95 respectively but apparently aren't in Newsweek's top 500. It just goes to show how subjective and pointless any of the attempts to rank order schools are. But people love ordered lists, said ordered lists we have.

Allie Coker Yancey
Allie Coker Yancey

No secret, socioeconomic status has a direct impact on achievement scores and I understand why the rankings irritates teachers in schools with high poverty rates is irritating. But, to say the rankings substitute prestige for substance? That is absolutely not true.

Jessica Whitehead
Jessica Whitehead

Oh look. The counties with all the money and rich white kids made the list. I wish theyd come down to us poor counties and see how we still teach and perform miracles with little to nothing given to us, even the basics. This is like saying "oh the 5 time Olympic Gold Medalist won the 25 meter freestyle race." But whats more meaningful, the above, or when someone performs at an exceptional level and comes from and has nothing?

Jessica Whitehead
Jessica Whitehead

Let me add that in my county, we are so poor, they instilled copier limits on us. 2500 sheets a month and after that you cant make copies. Period. Exceptions include academic coaches, testing coordinators, ELL, SPED, counselors, etc. but for a normal, average teacher its 2500 sheets a month. Back and front copies count as 2 copies, by the way. I learned that the hard way the other day. I thought I was being smart making back to back copies and saving some of my copies. Totallyyyyyy not the case.

Cordelia Ann Sheppard Riley
Cordelia Ann Sheppard Riley

Poverty rate under 12% . Clayton rate is so high all the kids in the school recieve free breakfast and free lunch. I think the county poverty rate has to be about 60 something % for that to happen, the free breakfast and lunch.


Another list which demonstrates that if you live in a wealthy/low-poverty area, chances are you have a pretty good school.  Only 15 schools on the list of 500 have a poverty level of 50% or more.  While approximately 270 have poverty levels of under 12%.  IMO, the "Beating the Odds" list is more relevant.

MaureenDowney moderator

@L_D I agree. There is a lot of rewarding of schools on this list for educating the most advantaged kids. A Gwinnett assistant principal of a high-achieving school there once told me many of his kids were "teacher proof." He said they could learn and thrive in any environment. 

Obviously, schools have a great deal to do with keeping such kids focused and achieving, but their battle is not getting kids in the race -- as it is in high poverty schools -- but improving their time. 


@L_D :  The bigger question for society; Why are people in poverty having kids?  There are way too many kids out there that literally have no chance of any kind of life because of their parents (or lack of).

Annette Laing
Annette Laing

I hope people will read the comment you highlight in the article.

Annette Laing
Annette Laing

The ranking of schools is incredibly meaningless, truthfully. It's one more example of prestige substituting for substance. What matters is the classroom experience, which is always variable, and the tone struck by administrators (which can be awful at the "best" schools)

AJC  Get Schooled
AJC Get Schooled

I hope so as it is a significant factor and explains the absence of several notable Georgia high schools on the list, including the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology.