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Best High Schools In NJ: U.S. News and World Report Releases New Rankings

Find out how Montclair High School fared

 

U.S. News and World Report has released its fourth edition of the Best High Schools rankings, including rankings for schools in New Jersey.

Topping the state list was High Technology High School in Lincroft, New Jersey. The highest ranking high school in Essex County was Millburn High School, which placed 12th out of 377 public schools and 12 charter schools. Nearby Glen Ridge High School ranked 20th. Another high performing school was Livingston Senior High School, which came in at number 32.

With 1,981 students, Montclair High School did not rank in the top 50.

The magazine had this to say about the school: At Montclair High School, students have the opportunity to take Advanced Placement® coursework and exams. The AP® participation rate at Montclair High School is 46 percent. The student body makeup is 50 percent male and 50 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 51 percent. Montclair High School is the only high school in the Montclair.

The magazine said that 17 percent of the school's population is economically disadvantaged.

In comparison, at Millburn High School, the AP® participation rate is 63 percent. The student body makeup is 51 percent male and 49 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 21 percent. The school has 1,407 students and 1 percent of the population is economically disadvantaged.

Montclair School Board President Shelly Lombard said that, of course, the district's goal is to be in the top 50 or top 100.

"That's why we have spent an additional $3 million in this year's budget and over $5 million in the 2012-2013 budget to improve our schools," she said. "We invested in small learning communities at the high school, more librarians, more student assistance counselors, and technology. And we were able to do this without raising school taxes. Our goal is to find cost savings and invest those cost savings in things that benefit the students directly.

"But we must keep in mind that Montclair is not Millburn or Glen Ridge or Livingston. Our town has much more economic diversity," she added. "This is not a town where every parent can afford to supplement with expensive outside tutors and where most students have access to outside enrichment like trips abroad or to museums. So Montclair has a much bigger challenge when it comes to making sure all of our students are performing at a high level."

Lombard noted that nearly 20 percent of the school's students quality for free or reduced lunch.

"I am sure none of those towns have a school population that is so economically diverse," she said. "Our economic diversity is our appeal but is also our challenge."

U.S. News partnered with the Washington, D.C.-based American Institutes for Research (AIR), which implemented U.S. News's rankings methodology. To determine the Best High Schools national rankings, schools were first analyzed at the state level in terms of how well students in each school performed on state assessments, taking into account the test scores of disadvantaged students (low-income, Hispanic, and black), who tend to score lower on tests.

High schools that made it through this analysis were then eligible to be ranked nationally, in terms of college readiness. U.S. News determines the degree to which schools prepare students for college-level work by analyzing student success in Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) programs, both of which include college-level courses.

tryintosurvive May 08, 2012 at 03:42 PM
I found it interesting that Elizabeth High School is number 6 in the state. From this report it says that for Elizabeth - "The student body makeup is 41 percent male and 59 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 83 percent." Montclair is below number 50 and this report does not seem to provide a number ranking after that. From the report it says that for Montclair - "The student body makeup is 50 percent male and 50 percent female, and the total minority enrollment is 51 percent." I am just reporting what this report says that I found interesting. No judgements, no conclusions, no inferences and no pushing of candidates or slates or degrading of others.
Shelley Emling (Editor) May 08, 2012 at 03:44 PM
That is interesting.. thanks..
chris May 08, 2012 at 06:38 PM
One more reason parents should be given a choice - they should allow Quest Charter school to go forward. It's not fair
Montclair's Own May 08, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Yes Chris, because polls and lists are always accurate. Give me a break.
Rita May 08, 2012 at 09:57 PM
@Chris, you and I must not be looking at the same report because not one charter school made the top 50. As a matter of fact, most charters performed below average. If this is the type of "quality" education that you want for our children, this must mean that you have very low educational standards.
Montclair Public May 08, 2012 at 11:29 PM
"But we must keep in mind that Montclair is not Millburn or Glen Ridge or Livingston. Our town has much more economic diversity," she added. "This is not a town where every parent can afford to supplement with expensive outside tutors and where most students have access to outside enrichment like trips abroad or to museums. So Montclair has a much bigger challenge when it comes to making sure all of our students are performing at a high level." Lombard in her own words. Now, how about those reading/writing programs that were cut, the librarians lost, the war on the aides, th Pre-K scholarships unfunded, while Lombard placates the CCM crowd -- the greedy wealth of Montclair that only cares about getting its taxes lowered because they have no children in the schools or can afford to provide those services on their own. unlike the less fortunate they claim to want to keep in town.
montclairgurl May 08, 2012 at 11:47 PM
The less fortunate have continued to leave town in the past decade, even as property values have fallen. Escalating taxes have made it difficult for most middle and working class residents to stay here, or move here.
profwilliams May 08, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Montclair has about 2000 students, Elizabeth 600. I'm sure somewhere in our 2000 lurks a wonderful, top 10 school, full of diversity and over achievers. But Montclair is different, we are racially diverse (unlike most of the other "top" schools), AND economically diverse. Also, from its website it appears that Elizabeth has SIX Academies, one called Elizabeth High School. The 5 others have lower GPA requirements than the High School, which also has a dress code, and appear to appeal to those students who might thrive in a non-academically rigorous environment. Bravo for them for the concept. But- To compare Elizabeth to Montclair makes no sense. Still these lists don't matter much, as I've stated here and elsewhere, our top students compete against the best in the State and nation, as evidenced by the colleges they go to. BUT we also have many kids who are left behind. Too many. @ Montclair Public, I want lower taxes too. Not looking to de-fund working programs, I just don't like the waste that is rampant in the Town and Schools. The issue is finding the balance for what we can afford, without some of us paying 20k in prop taxes, AND funding those working programs.
Dan May 09, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Do we hire less qualified teachers? Lombard again uses diversity to excuse the inadequate instruction they receive. What tools do kids in the other districts have? We have libraries in the schools right? We have books and lights right? We continue to use the diversity as a crutch. Does the SAT or ACT test museum knowledge or cultural knowledge gained while traveling overseas? I think not. The ABCs & 1,2,3s haven't change. The schools are sufficiently funded. Perhaps a radical idea like an 11 month school year would help us.
Montclair Public May 09, 2012 at 02:15 AM
Gurl, can you prove that high taxes drove the majority of those who left out? have you ever stopped to consider that many left because their homes were being sold at prices far above what they paid and as certain neighborhoods gentrified they became more attractive to new buyers with money? Prof Williams, can you identify the waste in the schools? and spare me the too many secretaries in the high school line. i would argue the bulk of the waste is in central office. i, too, would like lower taxes, and i am hardly against forcing our public employees, teachers included, to contribute more to health care and pension. but i am not for massive outsourcing, cutting Pre-K scholarships, stripping aides of their benefits.
profwilliams May 09, 2012 at 10:09 AM
Montclair Public, Sorry, I don't work for the BOE or any watchdog group, so asking me to "point out the waste," won't be helpful. But having been around the schools for 2 decades, and seeing all the consultants, administrators salaries and teacher schedules that have some working more than others, me thinks these payroll areas, as you attest, are where the saving will come from. Because like other institutions, I payroll is the biggest expense. Oh, and Bullock. Sorry. That prison? THERE, I just pointed to the waste.

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