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‘Daily Beast’ ranks James Clemens, Bob Jones among nation’s best high schools

Dr. Brian Clayton is principal at James Clemens High School. (CONTRIBUTED)
Dr. Brian Clayton is principal at James Clemens High School. (CONTRIBUTED)
Robby Parker is  principal at Bob Jones High School. (CONTRIBUTED)
Robby Parker is principal at Bob Jones High School. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – James Clemens and Bob Jones high schools have ranked in “America’s Top High Schools 2014” by “The Daily Beast,” affiliated with “Newsweek” magazine.

With more than 17 million readers, New York-based “The Daily Beast” produces award-winning original reporting and opinionated commentary. (thedailybeast.com)

The study ranks 735 schools across the United States. Bob Jones ranked at 292 and James Clemens at 697.

The study used these indicators to compare high schools:

* Graduation and college acceptance rates, the predominate criterion.

* College-level courses and exams.

* Percentage of students with free or reduced lunch.

* ACT and SAT scores.

“We are very proud our students, faculty, staff and administration for making this list,” James Clemens Principal Dr. Brian Clayton said. “It is a great honor being named to this list, based on our first-year data.”

James Clemens’ ratings were especially impressive, considering “The Daily Beast” used 2013 performance data when James Clemens was a new school.

“The job that our elementary schools and middle school do makes our job a whole lot easier,” Clayton said. “We look forward to making this list an annual event.”

Echoing Clayton’s outlook, superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler said the honor reflects “hard work and great preparation by our feeder schools.”

Seven other Alabama schools in “The Daily Beast” list are Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School, Shades Valley, 11th place; Alabama School of Math and Science, Mobile, 39; Mountain Brook High School, 138; Oak Mountain High School, Birmingham, 418; Homewood High School, 429; Hartselle High School, 609; and Cullman High School, 611.

Robby Parker, principal at Bob Jones, said his school only ranked behind Mountain Brook for public high schools in Alabama with open enrollment. “Bob Jones ranked fourth overall in Alabama, even among charter and magnet schools and seventh overall in the Southeast among open-enrollment schools.”

Among public or open enrollment schools, Bob Jones ranked at 183, while James Clemens ranked 549, Parker said.

For more information, visit thedailybeast.com/features/2014/america-s-top-high-schools.html.

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