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Three in county make U.S. News & World Report's top high school list

POSTED: December 15, 2007 5:02 a.m.

Three Hall County high schools made the U.S. News & World Report's "Best High Schools 2008" report.

The news magazine ranked Johnson, North Hall and West Hall high schools among 19 top high schools in Georgia and 1,591 top schools in the nation.

The publication annually ranks colleges and universities, but this is its first effort involving high schools.

It studied high schools in 40 states, excluding the others because they "did not make their 2005-06 school-year state test date available" or provided insufficient data for that year,
according the magazine's Web site, www.usnews.com.

U.S. News & World Report studied how each school's students performed on state tests, how well each school's disadvantaged students performed and whether the school was successful in providing college-level coursework.

The 100 schools that did the best in the analysis earned gold medals. The next 405 schools were awarded silver medals, and an additional 1,086 schools earned bronze.

All of the Hall schools earned bronze medals.

Johnson is at 3305 Poplar Springs Road in South Hall. North Hall is at 4885 Mount Vernon Road, and West Hall is at 5500 McEver Road in Oakwood.

Principals Damon Gibbs of Johnson, Gary Brown of North Hall and Jackie Adams of West Hall said they weren't aware of the recognition until Monday.

"However, we are obviously pleased," Gibbs said.

"We embrace our diversity and work hard each day to meet the needs of all of our students," he added. "This recognition would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of our faculty, staff and parents."

Sally C. Krisel, the school system's assistant director of teaching and learning, said that "ranking systems, by their very nature, oversimplifies the complexities of education."

But the factors considered in the magazine's ranking system "are very important ones."

"All of our schools are working hard on both equity and excellence, so it is gratifying to see three of our high schools appear on this very short list," Krisel added.



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