U.S. News: Decatur High School Ranks 13th Best in Metro Atlanta

Another ranking that everyone loves to hate.

This time it’s U.S. News and World Reports, which ranked Decatur High School 13th in the Atlanta Metro area (according to the AJC), 20th in the state and 536th nationally.   Here’s the U.S. News blurb…

Decatur High School is ranked 20th within Georgia. Students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® course work and exams. The AP® participation rate at Decatur High School is 75 percent. The student body makeup is 51 percent male and 49 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 46 percent. Decatur High School is the only high school in the Decatur City.

What were the metro area’s tippity top high schools?

Some familiar faces from years past here – DeKalb School for the Arts, Walton High School in Coob County and Fulton Science Academy High School rounded out the top 3.

Last year, Decatur ranked 406th nationally and 13th in Georgia.

And before you ask: U.S. News uses a four step process to rank high schools.  Here’s a quick summary, stripped from their website

  • Step 1: The first step determined whether each school’s students were performing better than statistically expected for students in that state.
  • Step 2: For schools passing the first step, Step 2 assessed whether their disadvantaged students – black, Hispanic and low-income – performed at or better than the state average for the least-advantaged students.
  • Step 3: For schools passing the first and second step, Step 3 required schools to meet or surpass a benchmark for their graduation rate. This is the second year U.S. News has included this step.
  • Step 4: Schools that made it through the first three steps became eligible to be judged nationally on the final step – college-readiness performance – using Advanced Placement test data as the benchmark for success. AP is a College Board program that offers college-level courses at high schools across the country.

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7 thoughts on “U.S. News: Decatur High School Ranks 13th Best in Metro Atlanta”


  1. I would have thought that Decatur would have ranker higher. Any speculation on why we dropped?

  2. Yay! So glad to hear our rankings have fallen. A few more negative stories like this and parents will stop stuffing their little ones into our schools, and they can become great again.

  3. Congratulations to the teachers, administrators and staff at Decatur High. All your hard work continues to pay off. It wasn’t that long ago (I’m thinking 25 years) that most would not have considered DHS a national and state ranked school but today, you compete with highly selective charter, public and private schools and do very well.
    My own opinion is that these rankings, although important to the the chi-chi’s, are really not critical. Some wonder why DHS scores rise and falls. Often it is because a larger or smaller group takes a test or the school submits a score of 7 instead of 6. I think much of this is manufactured in the same way that climate change, smart growth, “real” science and other fake news gets sooooo much attention. The REAL RANKING is whether or not parents think they are getting a good deal for the money. Yes the students, test scores and U.S. News Reports are important but PARENTS MATTER! Teachers and administrators should never forget this.
    Again congratulations. GO DECATUR!

    1. Mr. Billingsley, are you calling climate change “fake”? Both my DHS grads know that climate change is real.

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