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Millburn High School Falls From Number One

In the latest New Jersey Monthly ranking of high schools, Millburn dropped to number eight in rank due to class size.

In this year's New Jersey Monthly Magazine's list of top public high schools, Millburn fell from its place at number one, for the first time since 2008, to number eight. 

However, Superintendent Dr. James Crisfield, said, "it's an honor just to be in the top 10."

According to school officials, Millburn's ranking dropped mainly due to the rise in high school class size but Crisfield said he's not concerned. 

"We've maintained our elite achievements with fewer teachers than other schools," he said. "What matters is how our students are achieving."

An average class size for Millburn High School is 21.3. Crisfield emphasized the student average SAT scores is 1851, which is the highest of the top 50 schools, according to NJ Monthly Magazine. Also, the percent of students with advanced proficient scores on the HSPA was 51.6 in language Arts and 69 in math.

"I think the public is going to be upset that we're not number one anymore," Crisfield said. "I would counter that argument with actually our students are achieving just as much if not more than last time this survey was taken. What does class size mean, it means the cost."

“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.

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.

Here's the top 10 rated schools:

Name 2012 Ranking 2010 Ranking New Providence    1    5 McNair Academic (Jersey City)    2    2 Tenafly    3    3 Glen Rock    4  28 Kinnelon    5  21 Madison     6  15 Mountain Lakes    7   9 Millburn    8   1 Ridge (Bernards Township)    9  12 Rumson-Fair Haven Regional  10  31

A full list can be viewed here. 

The rankings from NJ Monthly come just a day after Inside Jersey published its own list of school rankings.

In that ranking, 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.

Observer August 25, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Superintendent: "What does class size mean, it means the cost." This is not so clear. Our classroom instructional cost per pupil is the second highest according to the most recent NJ School Report cards: Mountain Lakes $11,031 MHS- $ 8,631 Tenafly $ 8,269 Glen Rock $ 8,113 Rumson-Fair Haven $7,903 New Providence: $ 7,770 Kinnelon $ 7,634 Madison $ 7,583 Ridge $7,272 McNair not reported And our total cost per pupil is in the middle: Mountain Lakes $ 22,398 Glen Rock $ 18,576 Rumson-Fair Haven $18,250 Madison $ 17,310 Tenafly $ 17,415 MHS- $ 17,392 Kinnelon $ 16,692 New Providence: $ 16,217 Ridge $15,671 McNair not reported This means that we are putting our dollars into classroom instruction as compared to the other schools.
Observer August 25, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Meant to also give the source for the NJ Report Cards: http://education.state.nj.us/rc/rc11/
WeiZ August 26, 2012 at 04:56 PM
The ranking put too much emphasis on class size. In the 62nd place, West Windsor-Plainsboro South is great in every way except class size.
Nantz August 27, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Nancy Siegel can fix this. Just like she did in the UAW negotiations in 1973.
Henry Jones August 27, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Could it be the change in ranking is directly attributable to the School Boards recent choice of Dr. Crisfield as the school districts Superintendent?

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