2010 Top High Schools

Proven winners stay on top of our rankings, but all New Jersey public high schools face a host of new and daunting challenges this year.

top high schools 2010 article

Click here to view New Jersey’s Top Towns.

Any champion will tell you the toughest challenge is staying on top. But that’s just what Millburn High School managed to do in this year’s ranking of the state’s top public high schools. The Essex County school, which was number 1 in the New Jersey Monthly ranking in 2008, repeats as our high school champ in 2010.

In fact, the top of this year’s high school ranking is almost identical to the 2008 list, with McNair Academic of Jersey City and Tenafly High School repeating in the number 2 and number 3 spots, and Glen Ridge High School moving up one notch to number 4.

The Top High Schools list is based on data reported by the schools to the Department of Education for the 2008-2009 school year. Click here for an explanation of our methodology.

In addition to publishing the Top 100 Public High Schools in this section, we also have compiled the top 10 schools by District Factor Group, which ranks schools based on their socioeconomic peer group (click here to view the rankings by district factor group); and a list of the Top 10 Most Improved High Schools, based on our ranking. See the full rankings below.

What the rankings do not tell us is how the schools will fare after losing $820 million in direct state aid this year. Under Governor Chris Christie’s cuts, many of the state’s most successful school districts lost every penny of state cash assistance (although the state will pay for certain teacher benefits and the districts’ social security contributions).

That’s the case at Millburn High School, where aid was cut from $3 million for 2009-2010 to zero for the new school year. MHS principal William Miron says the cuts forced an approximate 7 percent reduction in his school’s budget. That has meant increasing some class sizes, eliminating some classes (five sections of Chinese instead of seven), merging a number of clubs, and cutting back sports schedules. Districtwide, about six administrative positions were eliminated, some through retirements; administrative responsibilities were spread among teachers through the creation of department-chair positions.

“We did a pretty good job of contracting without eliminating teaching positions,” Miron says.

A similar scenario is playing out at New Providence High School in Union County, which made a strong leap in the new ranking, moving from number 17 to number 5. The district’s state aid was cut from $1.48 million to zero. NPHS principal Paul Casarico reports that seven teaching and support positions were eliminated districtwide, including two and a half teaching positions at the high school. “Some of the opportunities that kids could take part in won’t be there this year,” Casarico says. At the high school, that means larger class sizes, fewer coaches (although no sports were dropped), and fewer clubs and activities.

Further down the rankings, Glassboro High School is also feeling the pain; its district lost $1.7 million, or 10 percent of its state funding. As a result, four and a third teaching positions were cut at the high school, and class sizes have grown, especially in electives like art and African-American history, says principal Santina S. Haldeman. Her school also cut several teams (cross-country, winter track, spring golf), the fall play, and an after-school weight-lifting program.

Glassboro, which has many students from low-income housing areas, has made good progress, moving from number 197 to number 188 in the rankings. (It is number 10 among its District Factor Group peers.) But Haldeman is concerned about hanging onto the gains. “I worry about what the future will bring,” she says. “I think this is just the beginning. I can’t imagine how it will be a year from now in terms of loss of teachers and programs.”

Click on the links below to read our Top High Schools rankings in the categories listed:

Click here to view the 2010 Top High Schools methodology

Full 2010 Top High Schools rankings (pdf)

2010 Top High School rankings (alphabetical)

2010 Top High School rankings (by county)

2010 Top High School rankings (by district factor group)



RANK
Full Top High Schools Rankings
2010
2008
High School
County
1
1
Millburn Essex
2
2
McNair Academic (Jersey City) Hudson
3
3
Tenafly Bergen
4
5
Glen Ridge Essex
5
17
New Providence Union
6
8
Northern Highlands Regional (Allendale) Bergen
7
12
Pascack Hills (Montvale) Bergen
8
10
Chatham Morris
9
4
Mountain Lakes Morris
10
16
Montgomery Somerset
11
14
Haddonfield Memorial Camden
12
24
Ridge (Bernards Twp) Somerset
13
29
Cranford Union
14
9
Northern Valley Regional (Demarest) Bergen
15
35
Madison Morris
16
21
West Windsor–Plainsboro South Mercer
17
11
Holmdel Monmouth
18
31
Park Ridge Bergen
19
23
Ramapo (Franklin Lakes) Bergen
20
7
Ridgewood Bergen
21
34
Kinnelon Morris
22
20
Livingston Essex
23
25
Pascack Valley (Hillsdale) Bergen
24
15
Governor Livingston (Berkeley Heights) Union
25
22
Summit Union
26
38
West Morris Mendham Morris
27
37
River Dell Regional (Oradell) Bergen
28
28
Glen Rock Bergen
29
19
West Windsor–Plainsboro North Mercer
30
18
Northern Valley Regional (Old Tappan) Bergen
31
30
Rumson–Fair Haven Regional Monmouth
32
36
Bernards (Bernardsville) Somerset
33
13
Ramsey Bergen
34
55
Emerson Bergen
35
40
Indian Hills (Oakland) Bergen
36
48
West Essex (North Caldwell) Essex
37
33
Highland Park Middlesex
38
39
Hopewell Valley Central (Pennington) Mercer
39
47
Moorestown Burlington
40
32
Jonathan Dayton (Springfield) Union
41
27
Westfield Union
42
45
Whippany Park Morris
43
42
West Morris Central (Chester) Morris
44
6
Princeton Mercer
45
57
James Caldwell (West Caldwell) Essex
46
100
Pequannock Twp Morris
47
54
Montville Morris
48
49
Watchung Hills Regional Somerset
49
51
Leonia Bergen
50
87
Parsippany Hills Morris
51
60
Wayne Hills Passaic
52
65
Randolph Morris
53
53
Verona Essex
54
86
Metuchen Middlesex
55
26
Cresskill Bergen
56
68
Mahwah Bergen
57
61
Cherry Hill East Camden
58
59
Point Pleasant Beach Ocean
59
41
Voorhees (Lebanon Twp) Hunterdon
60
43
North Hunterdon Regional (Clinton Twp) Hunterdon
61
64
Red Bank Regional Monmouth
62
69
Scotch Plains–Fanwood Union
63
46
Wayne Valley Passaic
64
97
Ocean Twp Monmouth
65
52
J. P. Stevens (Edison) Middlesex
66
78
Morristown Morris
67
91
Bridgewater-Raritan Somerset
68
93
Waldwick Bergen
69
50
Science (Newark) Essex
70
106
Morris Hills (Rockaway) Morris
71
76
East Brunswick Middlesex
72
75
Fort Lee Bergen
73
72
Rutherford Bergen
74
58
South Hunterdon Regional (West Amwell) Hunterdon
75
89
Columbia (Maplewood) Essex
76
81
Fair Lawn Bergen
77
73
Somerville Somerset
78
63
Sparta Sussex
79
88
Morris Knolls (Denville) Morris
80
109
Colts Neck Monmouth
81
84
Hillsborough Somerset
82
90
Allentown Monmouth
83
128
Dwight Morrow (Englewood) Bergen
84
104
Parsippany Morris
85
62
Hunterdon Central (Flemington) Hunterdon
86
79
Eastern Regional (Voorhees) Camden
87
118
Palisades Park Bergen
88
83
Delaware Valley Regional (Alexandria) Hunterdon
89
74
South Brunswick Middlesex
90
107
Mount Olive Morris
91
96
Cherry Hill West Camden
92
56
Westwood Bergen
93
117
Marlboro Monmouth
94
85
Montclair Essex
95
92
Middletown South Monmouth
96
67
Hanover Park Morris
97
80
Haddon Twp Camden
98
77
Paramus Bergen
99
110
Ocean City Cape May
100
108
Shawnee (Medford) Burlington
101
95
Arthur L. Johnson (Clark) Union
102
103
Secaucus Hudson
103
70
Cedar Grove Essex
104
119
Weehawken Hudson
105
126
Spotswood Middlesex
106
162
Dumont Bergen
107
82
Hasbrouck Heights Bergen
108
105
Lenape Valley Regional (Stanhope) Sussex
109
n/a
Robbinsville High School Mercer
110
166
Dunellen Middlesex
111
94
Shore Regional (West Long Branch) Monmouth
112
135
Ridgefield Memorial Bergen
113
178
David Brearley (Kenilworth) Union
114
121
Teaneck Bergen
115
98
Roxbury Morris
116
44
Midland Park Bergen
117
196
Creative and Performing Arts (Camden) Camden
118
113
Monroe Twp Middlesex
119
102
Pitman Gloucester
120
124
Lawrence Mercer
121
176
Henry Hudson Regional (Highlands) Monmouth
122
120
Lenape (Medford) Burlington
123
137
Rosa Parks Arts (Paterson) Passaic
124
115
Manasquan Monmouth
125
157
High Point Regional (Sussex) Sussex
126
111
Matawan Regional Monmouth
127
125
Manalapan Monmouth
128
114
West Orange Essex
129
168
Haddon Heights Camden
130
112
Boonton Morris
131
66
University (Newark) Essex
132
129
Freehold Borough Monmouth
133
172
Point Pleasant Ocean
134
152
Cherokee (Evesham Twp) Burlington
135
134
Seneca (Tabernacle) Burlington
136
234
Bergenfield Bergen
137
101
Wood-Ridge Bergen
138
194
North Warren Regional (Blairstown) Warren
139
116
Mainland Regional (Linwood) Atlantic
140
146
Piscataway Middlesex
141
198
North Arlington Bergen
142
130
Clearview Regional (Harrison Twp) Gloucester
143
132
North Brunswick Middlesex
144
170
Passaic Valley (Little Falls) Passaic
145
131
Lakeland Regional (Wanaque) Passaic
146
171
John F. Kennedy Memorial (Woodbridge) Middlesex
147
187
Woodstown Salem
148
158
South Plainfield Middlesex
149
163
Kittatinny Regional (Hampton Twp) Sussex
150
138
Henry P. Becton Regional (East Rutherford) Bergen
151
173
Bogota Bergen
152
156
Vernon Sussex
153
140
Burlington Twp Burlington
154
192
Southern Regional (Stafford Twp) Ocean
155
127
Wall Monmouth
156
165
Technology (Newark) Essex
157
71
Brimm Medical Arts (Camden) Camden
158
167
Jefferson Twp Morris
159
143
Middletown North Monmouth
160
141
Nutley Essex
161
99
New Milford Bergen
162
211
Old Bridge Middlesex
163
245
Liberty (Jersey City) Hudson
164
161
Cinnaminson Burlington
165
209
South Amboy Middlesex
166
164
Raritan (Hazlet) Monmouth
167
160
Newton Sussex
168
207
Arthur P. Schalick (Pittsgrove) Salem
169
177
Edison Middlesex
170
142
Saddle Brook Bergen
171
148
Hawthorne Passaic
172
195
Audubon Camden
173
136
Pompton Lakes Passaic
174
159
Howell Monmouth
175
149
Washington Twp Gloucester
176
123
Butler Morris
177
133
Monmouth Regional (Tinton Falls) Monmouth
178
182
Lyndhurst Bergen
179
155
Delran Burlington
180
175
Hightstown Mercer
181
214
Jackson Memorial Ocean
182
185
West Deptford Gloucester
183
169
Middlesex Middlesex
184
147
Keansburg Monmouth
185
191
West Milford Passaic
186
153
Northern Burlington Regional (Columbus) Burlington
187
139
Hoboken Hudson
188
197
Glassboro Gloucester
189
199
Hamilton East-Steinert Mercer
190
145
Roselle Park Union
191
236
Hackettstown Warren
192
188
Colonia Middlesex
193
n/a
Barnegat High School Ocean
194
190
Gloucester City Camden
195
189
Wallkill Valley Regional (Hamburg) Sussex
196
144
Manville Somerset
197
151
Gateway Regional (Woodbury Heights) Gloucester
198
184
Hackensack Bergen
199
203
Woodbury Gloucester
200
174
Hopatcong Sussex
201
150
Franklin Twp (Somerset) Somerset
202
179
Warren Hills Regional (Washington) Warren
203
193
New Egypt Ocean
204
200
Wallington Bergen
205
154
Arts (Newark) Essex
206
246
Long Branch Monmouth
207
180
Ridgefield Park Bergen
208
224
Palmyra Burlington
209
206
Pennsville Memorial Salem
210
201
Memorial (Elmwood Park) Bergen
211
n/a
Met East High Camden
212
122
Freehold Twp Monmouth
213
216
Harrison Hudson
214
228
Belleville Essex
215
n/a
Jackson Liberty High Ocean
216
218
Kingsway Regional (Swedesboro) Gloucester
217
287
Hillside Union
218
208
Bordentown Regional Burlington
219
240
Timber Creek Regional (Gloucester Twp) Camden
220
215
Dover Morris
221
292
Cicely Tyson Performing Arts (East Orange) Essex
222
212
Toms River North Ocean
223
242
Rancocas Valley Regional (Mount Holly) Burlington
224
210
Clayton Gloucester
225
238
Lacey Twp Ocean
226
181
Bloomfield Essex
227
217
Egg Harbor Twp Atlantic
228
n/a
International High Passaic
229
231
Woodbridge Middlesex
230
235
Kearny Hudson
231
225
Sterling (Somerdale) Camden
232
213
Sayreville War Memorial Middlesex
233
239
Hammonton Atlantic
234
186
South River Middlesex
235
220
Cliffside Park Bergen
236
205
Lower Cape May Regional (Cape May) Cape May
237
183
Florence Twp Memorial Burlington
238
230
Absegami (Absecon) Atlantic
239
204
Toms River East Ocean
240
219
Lodi Bergen
241
227
Manchester Regional (Haledon) Passaic
242
248
Bayonne Hudson
243
229
Union Union
244
254
Oakcrest (Hamilton Twp) Atlantic
245
258
Ewing Mercer
246
202
Delsea Regional (Franklin Twp) Gloucester
247
255
Atlantic City Atlantic
248
251
Brick Twp Ocean
249
265
Keyport Monmouth
250
250
Belvidere Warren
251
261
Brick Memorial Ocean
252
269
Highland Regional (Blackwood) Camden
253
266
Penns Grove Salem
254
256
Lindenwold Camden
255
252
Deptford Twp Gloucester
256
226
North Plainfield Somerset
257
273
Central Regional (Berkeley Twp) Ocean
258
262
Hamilton West-Watson Mercer
259
223
Clifton Passaic
260
244
Manchester Ocean
261
249
Rahway Union
262
241
Pinelands Regional (Little Egg Harbor) Ocean
263
232
Middle Twp Cape May
264
260
Hamilton North-Nottingham Mercer
265
277
Paulsboro Gloucester
266
257
Pemberton Twp Burlington
267
237
Collingswood Camden
268
267
Burlington City Burlington
269
264
Toms River South Ocean
270
259
Williamstown Gloucester
271
288
Emerson Hudson
272
283
Abraham Clark (Roselle) Union
273
282
Memorial (West New York) Hudson
274
278
Central (Newark) Essex
275
222
Vineland South Cumberland
276
275
Phillipsburg Warren
277
284
Salem Salem
278
221
Triton (Runnemede) Camden
279
253
Wildwood Cape May
280
281
Asbury Park Monmouth
281
298
Riverside Burlington
282
303
New Brunswick Middlesex
283
268
Neptune Monmouth
284
299
Linden Union
285
233
Union Hill (Union City) Hudson
286
285
Garfield Bergen
287
307
Irvington Essex
288
243
Bound Brook Somerset
289
311
Eastside (Paterson) Passaic
290
314
John F. Kennedy (Paterson) Passaic
291
279
Cumberland Regional (Upper Deerfield) Cumberland
292
263
East Orange Campus Essex
293
301
East Side (Newark) Essex
294
302
Elizabeth Union
295
247
Willingboro Burlington
296
294
North Bergen Hudson
297
286
Buena Regional Atlantic
298
290
Pennsauken Camden
299
309
Pleasantville Atlantic
300
276
Overbrook (Pine Hill) Camden
301
271
Maple Shade Burlington
302
272
Carteret Middlesex
303
297
Bridgeton Cumberland
304
n/a
Newark Vocational Essex
305
291
Lincoln (Jersey City) Hudson
306
289
Millville Cumberland
307
293
Plainfield Union
308
295
William L. Dickinson (Jersey City) Hudson
309
274
Winslow Twp Camden
310
305
Weequahic (Newark) Essex
311
306
Barringer (Newark) Essex
312
304
Henry Snyder (Jersey City) Hudson
313
312
Passaic Passaic
314
296
Malcolm X Shabazz (Newark) Essex
315
308
Orange Essex
316
300
Lakewood Ocean
317
310
Trenton Central Mercer
318
270
Perth Amboy Middlesex
319
313
West Side (Newark) Essex
320
280
James J. Ferris (Jersey City) Hudson
321
315
Woodrow Wilson (Camden) Camden
322
316
Camden Camden
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