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North grads pass most AP exams

SUWANEE - At North Gwinnett High School, more students are taking college-level classes and passing the exams than at any other school in the state, according to data released recently by Newsweek magazine.

Nearly 65 percent - or two out of every three - students who graduated in 2007 passed at least one Advanced Placement exam, North Gwinnett principal John Green said.

That number is nine percentage points higher than any other school in Georgia - and the 115th highest in the nation.

"We've got more kids taking more tests and passing and earning college credit," Green said. "It sets a new standard."

The numbers were released by Newsweek along with the school's Challenge Index ranking, a number determined by the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Cambridge exams taken by all students at a school in 2007 divided by the number of graduating seniors.

North Gwinnett's Challenge Index ranking is 413 - the second highest rating in the county. Berkmar High School's ranking of 336 was the highest in Gwinnett.

Green attributes his school's success to a culture change that is happening throughout the county.

"We're putting students in the highest level rigorous curriculum possible and then providing support for them so they can be successful."

SideBar: At a glance

Newsweek recently released its list of the top public high schools in the United States. The schools are ranked according to the Challenge Index, a number determined by the number of college-level exams taken by all students at a school in 2007 divided by the number of graduating seniors. Another performance indicator was the percentage of seniors in 2007 who passed at least one Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exam.

School

% passing AP/IB exams

Challenge Index ranking

North Gwinnett High/64.9/413

Brookwood High/38.2/658

Duluth High/34.3/605

Peachtree Ridge High/28.3/1,032

Parkview High/27.3/922

Norcross High/26/443

Central Gwinnett High/25/730

Berkmar High/24.4/336

Collins Hill High/23.6/1,354

Dacula High/15.7/1,220

Grayson High/n/a/1,207

Source: www.newsweek.com