The magazine tried to identify the schools where students, top to bottom, performed better than expected, based on the racial, ethnic and economic makeup of the student body and compared with other schools in the state.
U.S. News then took the best schools from every state except Nebraska (not enough data), plus the District of Columbia, and rated them on college readiness, based on Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate tests. The data come from the 2009-10 school year.
It's a very subjective formula, especially where is concerned. The Hembree Road school was unranked in Georgia and nationally, despite having similar data as nearby Walton and Wheeler.
You can read all about the three-step methodology if you want details.
What do you think of the ratings of Walton, Wheeler and other Cobb schools? Do you put any faith in efforts to rank schools, especially since Pope was left out?
Nationally, Walton is ranked 191st and Wheeler is ranked No. 686.
In Northeast Cobb, Lassiter was rated 7th in Georgia and No. 311 nationally.
The top of the national rankings nationally should make Cobb Superintendent Michael Hinojosa proud: The Nos. 1 and 3 schools, the School for the Talented and Gifted and the School of Science and Engineering Magnet, are from the Dallas Independent School District, which Hinojosa led until a year ago.
This is the fourth time U.S. News has ranked the nation’s public schools and the first time since 2009, when the magazine considered only 1,800 high schools.
The magazine worked with American Institutes for Research to produce the rankings.