Columbus High School has dropped from the No. 1 spot in Georgia, according to the 2018 U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of Best High Schools.
This year’s rankings put Columbus High at No. 3 in the state, trailing No. 1 Gwinnett County School of Mathematics, Science and Technology and No. 2 DeKalb School of the Arts.
Nationally, GCSMST is No. 31, DeKalb School of the Arts is No. 75, and Columbus High is No. 105.
Columbus High had improved its ranking every year since 2013, when it was No. 5 in the state and No. 202 in the nation, then No. 4 in the state and No. 104 in the nation in 2014, then No. 3 in the state and No. 85 in the nation in 2015, then No. 2 in the state and No. 80 in the nation in 2016.
Last year, the initial 2017 rankings had Columbus High alone at the top of Georgia. But the following month, the magazine announced that eight Georgia high schools were omitted, and the revised calculations enabled GCSMST, which had been No. 1 in Georgia the previous four years, to tie Columbus High for the title of best public high school in the state.
U.S. News & World Report evaluated more than 20,500 public high schools nationwide this year, and 5,948 of them are designated worthy enough to be in the rankings, according to its news release.
Early College Academy of Columbus is the only other Muscogee County high school honored by the magazine this year. It isn’t rated high enough to receive a ranking, but Early College received a bronze medal for the fifth straight year.
Columbus High and Early College are total magnet schools, meaning they don’t have attendance zones, students apply to be admitted and they can be dismissed if they don’t maintain the school’s standards.
The only other Columbus area schools to be recognized in the 2018 report are in Alabama: Auburn is ranked No. 10 in the state and No, 1,363 in the nation; Beulah High School in Valley, Ala., isn’t ranked but earned a bronze medal.