Montclair High School Drops In NJ Monthly's Biennial Ranking
However, the school is still listed in the top 100—barely.
Montclair High School is moving down the ranks. The school was listed in 99th place—down from the 94th spot in 2010—on the just-released biennial ranking of 328 public high schools in the state by New Jersey Monthly Magazine.
Montclair High School was previously ranked #85 in 2008. NJ Monthly Magazine’s 2012 rankings of the top public high schools will be featured in the September issue, which hits newsstands on Aug. 28.
The magazine notes that the average class size at Montclair High School is now 21.3 and that the combined average SAT score is 1629. That's better than the numbers published in 2010, when the magazine noted an average class size of 34 and an average SAT score of 1617.
But, in 2010, the student-faculty ratio at Montclair High School was listed as 10.0 compared with 11.3 in 2012.
Even so, Montclair High School has many defenders, including Scott White, director of the school's guidance department, who notes that a record 20 graduates are going on to Ivy League schools this year.
He also said that nearly 90 percent of students will be attending college this fall.
Overall, White emphasizes Montclair High School's "amazingly broad" extracurricular offerings and small learning communities.
NJ Monthly Magazine made changes to its methodology this year, including a new graduation-rate calculation, eliminating student/computer ratio as a factor and increasing the weighting for data on test results, according to an article announcing the top public high schools.
“The school’s average class size is down sharply since the 2010 rankings, and its math scores in the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) have improved significantly. This at a time of state budget cuts and local belt-tightening,” according to the NJ Monthly Magazine article.
Here's a look at how a few other schools in the area performed:
|Name||2012 Ranking||2010 Ranking|
|West Essex (North Caldwell)||16||36|
|James Caldwell (West Caldwell)||46||45|
|Science Park (Newark)||116||69|
The rankings from NJ Monthly come just a day after Inside Jersey published its own list of school rankings.
In that ranking, Montclair High School also ranked behind Millburn, Glen Ridge, Livingston, James Caldwell, and Cedar Grove, among other high schools, when it came to Essex County schools, despite the town of Montclair boasting one of the higher median home values ($601,100).
Montclair High School came in 10th out of 35 ranked Essex public high schools, according to the list.
Out of all the New Jersey schools on the list, Millburn High School was the highest ranked school from Essex County, coming in at number 17.
The categories and indicators used in the ranking by NJ Monthly, listed on NJ Monthly Magazine's web site, are as follows:
School Environment: The sum of the standardized rank scores for average class size; student/faculty ratio; percentage of faculty with advanced degrees; and number of AP tests offered, which was calculated as a ratio of grade 11 and 12 enrollment in order not to penalize smaller schools. (Senior class size is shown in the published charts for reference only; it is not part of the ranking calculation.)
Student Performance: The sum of the standardized rank scores for average combined SAT score; percentage of students showing advanced proficiency on HSPA; and students scoring a 3 or higher on AP tests as a percentage of all juniors and seniors.
Student Outcomes: A single score based on a new graduation-rate calculation (four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate) introduced by New Jersey in 2011, as mandated by the federal government. Essentially, the adjusted cohort formula divides a school’s number of four-year graduates by the number of first-time ninth-graders who entered the cohort four years earlier. For further information, visit state.nj.us/education/data/.
Vocational schools: Schools defined in this category by the state Department of Education were ranked using the same methodology as other public schools, but with two exceptions. No average class size is available for these schools, since many students are shared with mainstream schools. Similarly, there is insufficient data on AP tests.
Special Notes: Some schools were missing only AP-related data, particularly the number of students who scored a 3 or higher on AP tests. For these schools (which had fewer than 10 students who took an AP test) a value was imputed for purposes of the ranking using an average of other schools in their DFG. Also, for certain districts where there were obvious errors in the data (Midland Park, Elizabeth and Paterson), corrections were obtained directly from the districts.
What do you think of all these rankings? Let us know in the comments section below.