Montclair Graduation Rate Jumps Nearly 4% in 2012

District numbers improve using new federal formula.


The high school graduation rate in Montclair increased nearly 4 percent in the last year using the new federally-mandated formula. 

The 2012 Montclair High School graduation rate was 92.49 percent, compared to 88.98 percent in 2011, according to the New Jersey Department of Education. This was the second year the state calculated graduation rates using the updated “four-year adjusted cohort” system.  

Scroll down to see how Montclair stacked-up against other Essex County high schools. 

The new formula was introduced by the state in May and was used to recalculate 2011 graduation rates. The new calculation lowered many districts' graduation rates for 2011, and drastically dropped the overall graduation rate in New Jersey from 94.7 percent to 83 percent. 

The new system places more of a burden on districts because every student is now be tracked until graduation whether he or she remains in the same district.

Every student is given a state identification number and placed in a four-year cohort starting in ninth grade. When a class graduates, the number of students is compared to the number of students who were enrolled in ninth grade four years earlier.

For example, if a parent indicates to a district that his or her student is transferring to another school in the state but never enrolls there, and the student is lost track of, that student is still counted against the original district. 

However, Montclair High School’s student mobility rate (or percent of students that transfer) has remained low the past three years, averaging 2.5 percent. This is well below the state average of 9.3 percent during the same time, according to the district’s annual report card

In addition, special needs students and students whose native language is not English are also calculated into the new graduation rates. While less than 1 percent of Montclair High School students are classified as speaking limited English, more than 18 percent of the students are classified with some disability. 

How Did Montclair Stack-Up?

Here are the graduation rates of other high schools in Essex County.

  • Belleville: 85.57 percent
  • Bloomfield: 89.70 percent
  • Caldwell/West Caldwell: 96.15 percent
  • Cedar Grove: 95.35 percent
  • East Orange (total): 70.79 percent
  • Glen Ridge: 96.67 percent
  • Livingston: 98.28 percent
  • Millburn: 97.97 percent
  • South Orange-Maplewood: 85.34 percent
  • West Essex Regional: 97.13 percent
  • West Orange: 85.59 percent
  • Verona: 95 percent
I'd-Rather-Be-at-63 February 09, 2013 at 08:45 PM
This is good news. Montclair High School should examine each and every case of failure to know the specific reasons and to learn from them. There should be a clear school policy of "going for 100%." Every student lost along the way is an enormous failure.
esther February 10, 2013 at 08:22 PM
Once again- how about Kudos to the TEACHERS who teach the youngins. Or do you blame the teachers for failing those who don't do their homework, don't study, don't bring supplies to school, do drugs, cut class, have no positive parental guidance, arrive chronically late, come to school hungry, have no role models for the importance of education, etc... I believe Montclair, and the teachers, and the administration have a goal of "going for 100%" but 63 they can only control what they can control. Do you have any ideas how to combat what I see as problems not in the control of teachers? I'm curious......
I'd-Rather-Be-at-63 February 10, 2013 at 10:58 PM
esther, you are exactly right. More parental and student responsibility is needed to complement the excellent work teachers do in the classroom. This is all the more reason there needs to be accountability for every student who does not graduate from Montclair High School. This is a joint effort that needs to be undertaken collectively. The important point is, however, this is not a blame game. It is about understanding where things went wrong, where there was a failure, and addressing the core issues to help everyone achieve a common goal of "going for 100%."


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