Category Archives: Georgia

Atlanta Magazine Rates Georgia’s Top High Schools

January 2012: Top 50 High Schools
Which metro Atlanta public high schools best prepare students for college?
Michele Cohen Marill

When high school ends with a flip of the mortarboard tassel, only one question matters: Are the graduates ready for their next step?

The answer varies greatly. About 70 percent of Georgia high school students go on to college. Last year ten students earned perfect scores on the SAT. More than a third took at least one college-level course during high school.

“More and more kids are taking the most rigorous course work we can offer them in high school, and more of them are showing they can do college work and receive college credit,” says Becky Chambers, program manager for college readiness at the Georgia Department of Education.

But too many students find that their high school didn’t prepare them to succeed in college. About one in four need learning support when they enter Georgia colleges, and a similar number drop out of college after their first year.

We decided to take a close look at how metro Atlanta high schools rate on measures of college-readiness. We used nine indicators from the latest report card compiled by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, which is for the 2009–2010 school year. Schools were ranked for each indicator, and then rankings were averaged to produce an overall ranking. The top fifty are featured here.*

Ratings often reflect differences in school populations. DeKalb School of the Arts had just 291 students; Brookwood High School in Gwinnett had 3,420. At Crim High School in Atlanta, 97 percent of the students qualified for free or reduced lunch due to low family income; at Northview High School in Fulton, just 5 percent did. Schools with International Baccalaureate programs may not have performed as well on AP indicators, as they had relatively fewer top students participating.

But overall, the rankings show how our high schools are doing at their core mission: graduating students who can meet the challenges of higher education.

We are grateful to Terry Sloope, assistant director for research with the A.L. Burruss Institute at Kennesaw State University, for technical assistance. The mission of the Burruss Institute is to enhance the ability of governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations to make informed decisions for the public good by providing relevant data, technical resources, and skill development.

Average SAT
GHSGT/Language Arts
Graduation rate
Advanced Placement exams
AP passing rate
Learning support
HOPE eligibility
College preparatory diploma

Source: GOSA Report Card, 2009–2010 (the most recent available).


Atlanta Thanksgiving Tradition

One of my favorite Atlanta Thanksgiving traditions is the Atlanta Half Marathon that takes place on Thanksgiving Day.  I love starting off the day with about a 1000 calorie deficit and a festive morning with good friends.  I’m thankful for my friend Beth who introduced me to running about 8 years ago after her sisters, Julie and Lee Anne got her addicted. After many running trips together and training runs they’ve become more like sisters to me.  We’ve solved many of the world’s problems, and a few of our own out on the road.  If we’d only taken notes along the way, we could probably publish a best selling novel by now or a few self help books. We’ve run through some of Atlanta’s most beautiful neighborhoods and experienced the glory of the changing seasons and many mornings the rising sun. We’ve been chased by dogs, honked at by angry carpoolers, heard the thumping music from a bar rocking into the wee hours of the morning, skinned some knees, hitched a ride from a van of Jehovah’s Witnesses, ran fast some days, but slow most others, got that elusive “runner’s high”, but mostly just enjoyed feeling free for the moment.  Whatever traditions you hold dear, Happy Thanksgiving!

See more here on the Atlanta Half Marathon

Atlanta Half Marathon

Pilgrims and Turkeys will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day at the Atlanta Half Marathon