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Mill Creek added to Newsweek's top schools

LAWRENCEVILLE - Mill Creek has been added to Newsweek's list of the top public high schools in the United States, increasing the number of Gwinnett County schools on the list to 12.

The schools are considered to be among the top 5 percent in the nation, according to Newsweek's Web site. Schools are ranked by the Challenge Index, determined by the number of college-level tests taken by all students at a school in 2007 divided by the number of graduating seniors.

Sloan Roach, the spokeswoman for Gwinnett County Public Schools, said the district is proud of all of its schools.

"I think the fact that so many of our schools are on the list speaks volumes to the emphasis we as a district have put on challenging our students," she said.

Berkmar High's rank - now No. 338 - is the best in Gwinnett. Mill Creek High was ranked at 1,028.

Most of the ranks are determined by the number of Advanced Placement exams taken at each school. Norcross High's rank, No. 445, also factored in International Baccalaureate tests.

Gwinnett County Board of Education Chairwoman Carole Boyce said she was thrilled to hear 12 of Gwinnett's 16 high schools were on the list.

"I think that's just exciting news," she said. "We feel very confident that our high schools are excellent and the curriculum offered to kids is very strong ... That doesn't make us complacent, though. There's always room for improvement."

SideBar: Top Schools

The following Gwinnett County high schools on Newsweek's list of top public schools are ranked according to the Challenge Index, 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/Challenge Index rank/% passing AP/IB tests

Berkmar High/338/24.4

North Gwinnett High/415/64.9

Norcross High/445/26

Duluth High/612/34.3

Brookwood High/666/38.2

Central Gwinnett High/738/25

Parkview High/938/27.3

Mill Creek High/1,028/19.9

Peachtree Ridge High/1,053/28.3

Grayson High/1,237/n/a

Dacula High/1,250/15.7

Collins Hill High/1,388/23.6

Source: www.newsweek.com