2006 Ranking of the Top High Schools in New Jersey

2006 NJ High School Ranking

New Jersey Monthly has produced this biennial ranking since 1994. But after twelve years it was time to reassess our assessment. So we fine-tuned our criteria, taking into account factors such as class size and teachers with advanced degrees. The resulting ranking is part of the most comprehensive education package the magazine has ever produced.*

For the first time, we compare schools of similar socioeconomic backgrounds. We report on the value of Advanced Placement classes and the dilemma posed by alternative paths to a high school diploma.

Click here for the 2008 Ranking of the Top NJ High Schools

Here’s the 2006 List:

  1.    McNair Academic (Jersey City)
  2.    Tenafly
  3.    Millburn
  4.    Montgomery
  5.    Mountain Lakes
  6.    Glen Rock
  7.    Northern Highlands Regional (Allendale)
  8.    Pascack Hills
  9.    West Windsor–Plainsboro South
  10.    Glen Ridge
  11.    Ridge (Bernards Twp.)
  12.    Chatham
  13.    Princeton
  14.    Livingston
  15.    Cresskill
  16.    Northern Valley Regional (Demarest)
  17.    Haddonfield Memorial
  18.    West Windsor–Plainsboro North
  19.    Holmdel
  20.    Summit
  21.    Governor Livingston (Berkeley Heights)
  22.    Westfield
  23.    Pascack Valley (Hillsdale)
  24.    Ridgewood
  25.    Northern Valley Regional (Old Tappan)
  26.    New Providence
  27.    Ramsey
  28.    Ramapo (Franklin Lakes)
  29.    West Morris Mendham
  30.    Voorhees (Lebanon Twp.)
  31.    Highland Park
  32.    Randolph
  33.    Rumson — Fair Haven
  34.    West Essex (North Caldwell)
  35.    Kinnelon
  36.    Indian Hills (Oakland)
  37.    Northern Hunterdon Regional (Clinton Twp.)
  38.    Watchung Hills Regional
  39.    Cranford
  40.    Park Ridge
  41.    West Morris Central (Chester)
  42.    Cherry Hill East
  43.    James Caldwell (West Caldwell)
  44.    Jonathan Dayton (Springfield)
  45.    Paramus
  46.    Mahwah
  47.    Verona
  48.    Madison
  49.    Montville
  50.    Bernards (Bernardsville)
  51.    Emerson
  52.    Hanover Park
  53.    Science (Newark)
  54.    Whippany Park
  55.    Cedar Grove
  56.    Metuchen
  57.    Hunterdon Central (Flemington)
  58.    Eastern Regional (Voorhees)
  59.    Hopewell Valley Central (Pennington)
  60.    East Brunswick
  61.    River Dell Regional (Oradell)
  62.    Fair Lawn
  63.    Moorestown
  64.    Scotch Plains — Fanwood
  65.    Morristown
  66.    Midland Park
  67.    Leonia
  68.    Point Pleasant Beach
  69.    Oecan Twp.
  70.    Wayne Hills
  71.    Morris Knolls (Denville)
  72.    Wayne Valley
  73.    Sparta
  74.    Somerville
  75.    South Brunswick
  76.    Marlboro
  77.    Haddon Twp.
  78.    Pequannock Twp.
  79.    Columbia (Maplewood)
  80.    Delaware Valley Regional (Alexandria)
  81.    Westwood
  82.    J.P. Stevens (Edison)
  83.    Bridgewater-Raritan
  84.    Parsippany
  85.    Middletown South
  86.    New Milford
  87.    Parsippany Hills
  88.    Rutherford
  89.    Red Bank Regional
  90.    Montclair
  91.    Arthur L. Johnson (Clark)
  92.    Hasbrouck Heights
  93.    Ocean City
  94.    Shore Regional (West Long Branch)
  95.    Freehold Borough
  96.    Waldwick
  97.    Ridgefield Memorial
  98.    West Orange
  99.    Fort Lee
  100.    Hillsborough

Click here for numbers 101-200

Click here for the best places to live in NJ



Data for New Jersey Monthly’s biennial ranking of the state’s high schools were obtained from the state Department of Education’s most recent New Jersey School Report Card (covering the 2004–2005 school year).

Only public high schools were included. Special-education and vocational-technical schools, as well as schools with no report card data, were excluded.Monmouth University’s Polling Institute analyzed the data by first standardizing scores for individual statistics so that small differences did not have a disproportionate impact on the rankings and large differences were not minimized.

These statistics were grouped into three categories. Each category was given equal weight in the rankings.The categories used in the rankings are:

1. School Environment: The sum of the standardized scores for average class size; student-to-faculty ratio; student-to-computer ratio; percentage of faculty with advanced degrees; and number of AP tests offered compared to the total number of juniors and seniors (a calculation designed to avoid penalizing smaller schools).

2. Student Performance: The sum of the standardized scores for average combined SAT score; percentage of students achieving advanced proficiency on HSPA; and students scoring a 3 or higher on AP tests as a percentage of all juniors and seniors.

3. Student Outcomes: A single combined score of graduation rate multiplied by the percentage of graduates going on to post-secondary education. Those going on to a 4-year college were given a weight of 1.5, those going to a 2-year college were given a weight of 1, and those going to other colleges or post-secondary schools were given a weight of .67.Other New Jersey Report Card statistics that were not part of the ranking calculation include the percentage of students taking the SAT; the two-year change in SAT scores; the percentage of all eligible students taking an AP test; and the percentage of graduates going directly into a job or the military after high school.

A Word of Thanks

New Jersey Monthly conducted a series of meetings with leaders from New Jersey United for Higher School Standards; Business Coalition for Educational Excellence at the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce; New Jersey Parent Teacher Association; New Jersey Education Association; New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association; and New Jersey School Boards Association. These meetings yielded changes to the criteria used in our rankings. While not every organization taking part in these discussions agrees with each of the new criteria, these meetings generated a productive discussion on what makes high schools successful.

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