17 Gwinnett schools make best list



LAWRENCEVILLE — An annual ranking of America’s high schools includes 17 schools from Gwinnett County, two more than the year before.

The Washington Post’s High School Challenge ranks high schools through a formula created by education columnist Jay Mathews. The list was previously published in Newsweek, where it was called “America’s Best High Schools.”

Mathews’ formula divides the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and other college-level tests a school gave in 2010 by the number of graduating seniors. The more than 1,900 schools on the list, considered to be among the top 6 percent in the nation, had at least as many tests in 2010 as they did graduates.

The Washington Post’s website explains that the ratings aren’t a measure of the overall quality of the school. Instead, the ratings reveal the level of commitment to preparing average students for college.

“Over the years, Gwinnett high schools have added rigor and relevance to the high school curriculum,” said Steve Flynt, Gwinnett County Public Schools’ associate superintendent for school leadership and operational support. “As a result, we have seen an increase in the number of students stretching out of their comfort zone to take more challenging classes. We are proud of our schools’ recognition and know that it reflects their commitment to preparing our students for the demands they will face in the future as they continue their education and enter the work force.”

The schools on the Challenge list are Archer, Berkmar, Brookwood, Buford, Central Gwinnett, Collins Hill, Dacula, Duluth, Grayson, Meadowcreek, Mill Creek, Mountain View, Norcross, North Gwinnett, Parkview, Peachtree Ridge and Shiloh. Berkmar tops the list of Gwinnett schools with a ranking of No. 4 in the state and No. 151 in the nation.

An interactive feature on the Washington Post website, located at apps.washingtonpost.com/highschoolchallenge/, includes more information about each school and frequently asked questions about the Challenge.