Cranford High School was recently ranked number 51 among public high schools in the state by New Jersey Monthly Magazine.
Cranford High School, home of the Cougars, has fallen in the rankings. In 2010, it was 13th in the state. NJ Monthly Magazine’s 2012 rankings of the top public high school will be featured in the September issue, which hits newsstands on Aug. 28.
NJ Monthly Magazine mades changes to their 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.
Superintendent of Schools Gayle Carrick said school officials were "disappointed" in the rankings by NJ Monthly, which she said are significantly different than the numbers presented in rankings compiled by other publications.
"We are disappointed in the declining NJ Monthly rankings that are in sharp contrast to our recent climb in rankings as noted by Newsweek and The Washington Post," Carrick said. "After our initial analysis of the new NJ Monthly methodology rankings we found that the elimination of data specific to such areas as students going on to two and four-year colleges and other post-secondary schools, and student/computer ratio negatively impacted us as did calculation errors in the new adjusted graduation cohort rate that the state would not allow us to correct."
Carrick pointed out that stuents at CHS performed well on the recent SAT exam and educators in the district will continue looking at ways to improve performance.
"We are proud of our increases in SAT mean scores and AP stats and will continue to look carefully at the data as a continual means of improvement," Carrick added, also commenting on the increased rankings of neighboring districts. "Cranford wishes to congratulate our Union County colleagues who have improved their rankings and we wish all Union County districts a great school year."
Besides Cranford, several other area high schools were ranked as follows:
New Jersey Monthly Magazine Top Public High SchoolsName 2012 Ranking 2010 Ranking Summit 15 25 Jonathan Dayton 26 40 Governor Livingston 36 24 A.L. Johnson 40 101 Westfield 49 41 Cranford 51 13 Scotch Plains 60 62 Chatham 20 8 Roselle Park 122 190 David Brearley 127 113 Elizabeth 148 294 Hillside 166
The categories and indicators used in the ranking, 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.