Celebrating MLK High School

MLK Academic Magnet High School: Rigorous Math and Science for Diverse Student Body
Posted on 01/14/2022
Martin Luther King students

Generally considered one of the best high schools in the city, state and nation, Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet High School’s long tradition of excellence goes back to when it opened in August 1986 in the city’s historic Pearl High School building as Nashville’s first secondary magnet school for grades 7-12. MLK Hallway

The school, often known simply as MLK, sits a few blocks north of downtown and is bordered by the renowned Meharry Medical College and Fisk University. MLK was designed to attract a voluntary cross-section of academically talented students from diverse groups across Nashville and Davidson County. It began with grades 7-9, added a grade a year and graduated the first class in 1990. The new school became an appealing choice for students interested in advanced studies in math and science.  MLK soccer player on field.

MLK ensures every student is known by working with students to meet their individual academic needs through the courses each student selects. The school strives to give each student the necessary tools to be on track for graduation and ready for all post-secondary opportunities. 

MLK students progress through six years of advanced mathematics and science, designed to give students a competitive edge. Students can participate in competitive sports teams and interdisciplinary clubs. MLK students participate in the School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt, a joint venture between Metro Nashville Public Schools and Vanderbilt University.  

MLK is currently ranked #155 on U.S. News and World Report’s list of the nation’s best high schools in 2021 and made the top 5 in the publication’s rankings of Davidson County and Tennessee high schools. Students dancing outside at prom

MLK Mission

The mission of Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet is to provide a rigorous and respectful academic environment emphasizing science and mathematics that prepares all students for successful post-secondary study and a productive, purposeful life. 

MLK Successes

  • MLK had a 100% graduation rate for 2020-2021. 
  • The school currently has an average daily attendance rate of 97%. 
  • MLK’s Measures of Academic Progress Reading Assessment showed 85% of students are proficient, and their MAP Math Assessment proficiency rate is 86%. 

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