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Gatlinburg Schools
In addition to the other benefits of living in Sevier County (great scenery, low taxes, mild climate, low crime, etc.), we also have great schools.  In fact, Gatlinburg-Pittman High School was recently voted the number one High School in America by none other than the Wall Street Journal, reprinted below!
This wasn't a single year fluke either. 2003's graduating class of about 120 children was awarded over $3,500,000 in scholarships, but we've been too busy to get a new picture of the marquee! In fact, the University of Tennessee says that of all of the schools that send ACT scores to UT, Gatlinburg - Pittman every year has the highest average ACT score!
Economics 101
Where can your high-school bound kids get the best education for the least money?
SchoolMatch, a Westerville Ohio, company that helps parents select the right schools for their children, recently completed a study of the nation’s 13,927 public school districts to answer that question. To quantify a school’s value, the company created for each school a percentile for pupil performance and another for per-student expenses. Therefore, if a school fell in the 100th percentile on performance and the first percentile on cost, it would have the highest value, and vice versa.
When calculating per-pupil expenses, SchoolMatch took into account home property values in the community, teacher salaries, school-resourse expenditures and the district tax base. For pupil performance, the firm looked at class size, students’ performance on standardized tests and other measures.
In the Southeast, according to the study, Gatlinburg Pittman High in Gatlinburg, Tenn., has the biggest bang for its buck, and Columbia High in Columbia, N.C. has the lowest value. Gatlinburg Pittman High falls in the 98th percentile in the country on performance and in the 10th on expenses. Columbia High falls in the fourth percentile on performance and in the 56th on expenses. Overall, North Carolina is the clear loser in the study.
Nearly as good as Gatlinburg Pittman are Auburn High in Auburn, Ala., and Vestavia Hills High in Vestavia Hills, Ala. (both of which have percentiles of 99 and 15). Three of the top 10 schools in the region, in fact, are in Alabama.
It doesn’t hurt that the Southeast’s school systems have some of the lowest expenses in the country. The region’s top 10 schools for value rank among the country’s top ones as well.
Of the bottom 10, two are in Atlanta-Fulton High and Douglass High-and two are in Winston-Salem, N.C. The others are in North Carolina: Mount Pleasant High, Gates County Senior High (Gatesville), Mattamuskeet High (Swan Quarter) and Ocracoke High. And there’s one in Tennessee: Whites Creek Comp High, near Nashville.
Heads of Class
High Performance, Low Cost
School Location Performance Cost
Gatlinburg Pittman High Gatlinburg, Tenn. 98 10
Auburn High Auburn, Ala. 99 15
Vestavia Hills High Vestavia Hills, Ala. 99 15
Lexington High Lexington, S.C. 95 15
Brentwood High Brentwood, Tenn. 95 16
Eastside High Taylor, S.C. 94 16
Litchfield High Gadsden, Ala. 91 15
Lakeside High Evans, Ga. 91 16
Salisbury High Salisbury, N.C. 89 19
Davidson Magnet School Augusta, Ga. 85 10
Low Performance, High Cost
School Location Performance Cost
Columbia High Columbia, N.C. 4 56
Mallamuskeet High Swan Quarter, N.C. 5 58
Ocracoke High Ocracoke, N.C. 11 58
Gales County Senior High Gatesville, N.C. 17 64
Fullan High Atlanta 20 67
Whites Creek Comp High Whites Creek, Tenn 20 57
Independence High Winston-Salem, N.C. 28 55
Mount Pleasant High Mount Pleasant, N.C. 37 51
Douglas High Atlanta 39 67
Carver High Winston-Salem, N.C. 42 55
Source: SchoolMatch
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