15 NJ Public High Schools With The Highest SAT Scores

Magnet schools dominate list of 2012 high performers.

Wayne's World October 30, 2013 at 11:13 AM
Well, as with all these lists, they use dishonest methodology. You can throw out the first 10 on the list as they are all specialized schools with limited enrollment based on academic merit. Stop comparing them with local high schools that take all comers. I love when the media compares U.S. high school students with their foreign counterparts. We take scores from the entire cross-section of society, while countries like Germany and Japan only allow the top test takers to even enter academic high schools, while at least the bottom 50-60% of the population is shuffled into vocational schools. If we compared apples to apples, we'd take the top 25% of our school population and compare THAT to the rest of the world, since their entire school systems are cherry-picked. Same thing goes for this list.
Al Scala October 30, 2013 at 11:50 AM
I agree with you on the Top 10. Numbers 11-15 are public high schools just like ours. in fact, their school enrollment is higher than each one of our high schools as I believe we have about 1200 in each one?
Wayne's World October 30, 2013 at 12:04 PM
Yes, but the demographics of these towns vs. Wayne probably accounts for the big differences in test scores. We are spending top dollar on a per student basis so that isn't it. Whatever the shortcomings of our school system, it seems to me that Wayne has changed fundamentally and people who used to move here for the schools and the culture of the town are now choosing the Tenaflys, Livingstons, Montvilles, etc. of the state.
Al Scala October 30, 2013 at 12:32 PM
Agree.....and that has been part on my point all along. At one time, the Wayne school system was a jewel. It is still a good school,system, but certainly not what it was nor where it should be, especially when you spend what we spend per student. Maybe because we haven't had good quality leadership over the last 10 years or so. We've had two Superintendents let go, two interim superintendents, now this one. We have an inner city experienced educator running a suburban town school system. I don't know. Is education just education? Does it matter what type of educational background you come from? He had never been a Superintendent before! Does that matter? Frankly, I would have rather seen the Board hire an educator who at present was a Superintendent,and who had a successful track record in that position. In other words a ROCK STAR! I think we deserve it after the many years that our system was floundering in leadership. Keep in mind, inner city school,systems get an obscene amount of state aid. For instance, last year we received about 3.5 million or so. Paterson received 300 million and were promised more. Maybe Gonzalez is used to working in that type of environment where money is no object. I certainly hope he understands the difference.
Al Scala October 30, 2013 at 12:40 PM
I stand corrected. Last year, Paterson received almost 398 million, while we received just shy of 3.8 million.
Jack Q October 30, 2013 at 01:31 PM
Al, while I am not the biggest fan of the current Super, but I can't seem to wrap my head around that the implied decay of our school system lies on his shoulders. While I agree with you about the revolving door policy of Supers we have had, and whether the previous one was truly engaged, I look more internally at the schools. From experience, I see what is coming home every night and I wonder what in the world is going on. From busy work assignments that add nothing to the learning experience to absolutely illegible handouts, I wonder how teachers and administrators feel that these are acceptable? And I don't mean to paint with a broad brush since my kids have had some excellent teachers. I understand that in every occupation you will have good employees and bad employees. From my experience, the good/great teachers are becoming far and few in between. And before anyone colors this as sour grapes, all my children are honor students with strong extra-curricular participation.
Justice October 30, 2013 at 01:48 PM
Isn't West Windsor the system that produced the two Rutgers students secretly videotaping the Ridgewood student who jumped off the GW bridge?
Al Scala October 30, 2013 at 02:10 PM
JackQ.....I have reread my post carefully and nowhere in that post do I blame the present condition of our school system on him. Not that I'm not capable of doing that. I think you didn't understand what I was trying to say. I am equating his background and experience to our school system. Was he the right fit?I don't know. I certainly don't know who applied for the position or how many did. I raise some questions that I simply can't answer. Should we have gone out and hired a Super with experience? One from a suburban school system similar to Wayne? One who has had a successful track record? That would have been my preference. That's what I think we deserved after the leadership fiasco we've had here over the last 10 years or so. The disparity in State aid is a disgrace.I can't blame that on him. However, he also has to understand that we simply don 't get that kind of state aid that he is accustomed to.That's my point. The demographics, per capita, the demands of our parents, is a lot different from inner city schools. Are we achieving the level or quality of education relative to the cost per student? Are our children competitive and are we able to place them in some of the finest schools? I just don't know! Do I think we could and should do better? Absolutely! How do we get our schools in the Top 20 in the State? Does that require that we have to throw money at the school system? Your complaint seems to direct itself to teachers. Well, we've had a brain drain in our school system now for quite some time. Each year we lose some long tenured teachers, and many of them I'm sure are very good. We're going to lose a lot more over the next couple of years. Some, simply due to the aging process and others because of contractual requirements under Christie's legislation. We are going to lose some very fine teachers. Well, I'm digressing here.I think and hope you get my point.
Jack Q October 30, 2013 at 02:25 PM
I get your your point, Al. I don't know who applied or what the talent pool looks like for Supers. It does seem that I read that other district hire retired Superintendents, so we are not alone, although that doesn't make me feel any better. I know there have been a lot of retirements in the last 6-7 years. My point is like yours, are we getting the right fit to replace retiring teachers? Time will tell.
Mrs. Ed U. Kater October 31, 2013 at 07:19 AM
This map is very telling. Zoom in to seem a better view of towns and the pockets of color http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/13/04/10/high-school-sat-scores/
Moop Exodar November 01, 2013 at 04:04 PM
As a graduate of the Communications High School, putting any of these MCVSD academies on this list isn't fair. While they are technically public, only 1-2 students per district are permitted (based on high achieving academics). A small sample size, combined with a weighted student demographic makes this a biased report.
JC Noway November 02, 2013 at 10:06 PM
Moop Exodar, the MCVSD doesn't accept 1-2 students per district, they accept depending on population and schools within a district so Middletown, for example, accepts as many as 9-10 while smaller districts may have as little as 1. Though that doesn't include any who get in because of students who turn down their acceptance or because a town doesn't meet the maximum allowed.
JC Noway November 02, 2013 at 10:10 PM
But as a MCVSD graduate, I know that most of those kids study three times as hard for these tests than most schools and not because they are so much smarter. How would it be fair if they weren't included because they are public schools even if they accept only a limited number of students.


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