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Three Clayton schools make national ‘best’ list

JONESBORO —Three of Clayton County’s public high schools have been named among the best in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

Forest Park High, Jonesboro High and Lovejoy High were recognized nationally. The schools earned bronze awards for high-performing schools based on state exam performance.

U.S. News and World Report annually ranks the nation’s high schools, colleges and graduate schools. This year, more than 21,000 schools were ranked across 49 states and the District of Columbia.

David Waller is the spokesman for Clayton County Public Schools. He said several factors were used in determining the best schools including overall academic performance in reading and math, the number of economically disadvantaged students and college-readiness.

Waller said that, while 550 Georgia high schools were considered, only 88 were recognized as the best in the state including Clayton’s three.

Lovejoy High Principal Keith Colbert credited students, teachers, parents and school leadership for the school’s gains into the publication’s rankings.

“It’s just a testament to the hard work that our students, faculty and stakeholders have put together,” said Colbert. “We have a large percentage of motivated students and teachers. They’re intrinsically motivated, and I’m thankful that I got an opportunity to serve here over these past four years.”

Superintendent Luvenia Jackson said the rankings were welcome news to the school system.

“This is indicative of the kind of work that our teachers and students are doing across the district,” Jackson said. “We are pleased with the news, but won’t be satisfied until all of our high schools make the list.”

The news comes a week after a three-day Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/AdvancED accreditation review.

Lead investigator Dr. James Brown declared the system “among the best” and recommended it receive system-wide accreditation. It has been accredited at the school-level.

“The progress we have made is really astounding and parents and students should know that they are getting a world-class education,” said Jackson. “We want everyone to know about the great things happening in our school system.”