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Fort Lee High School Still Among State’s Top 100, Drops in Rankings

Fort Lee High School went from number 72 in 2010 to 97 in New Jersey Monthly’s biennial report, which is based on a formula compiled from state Department of Education data for the 2010-2011 school year.

once again ranked among the state’s top 100 high schools, according to New Jersey Monthly’s biennial report, but the local school dropped from 72 in 2010 to 97, according to a formula based on state Department of Education (DOE) data for the 2010-2011 school year.

The data upon which New Jersey Monthly’s rankings are based comes from the DOE’s most recent New Jersey School Report Card and includes only public high schools for the top 100 schools, according to the publication, with charter schools left out of the mix.

According to New Jersey Monthly, the following categories were used “as indicators” in compiling the rankings:

  • School Environment, which includes such data as average class size, student-faculty ratio, faculty with advanced degrees and AP tests offered.
  • Student Performance, including average SAT scores, students scoring 3 or more on AP tests and the percentage of students achieving advanced proficiency on HSPA.
  • Student Outcomes, which is based on a new, federally mandated graduation rate calculation implemented by New Jersey in 2011 that “divides a school’s number of four-year graduates by the number of first-time ninth-graders who entered the cohort four years earlier,” according to New Jersey Monthly.

New Providence High School in Union County, which ranked fifth in 2010, was the number one high school in the state, according to New Jersey Monthly. New Providence was followed in the rankings by Jersey City’s McNair Academic; Tenafly; Glenn Rock, which rose from number 28, and Kinnelon, which was up from number 21 in 2010, to round out the top five, the report shows.

William Mays August 21, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Dropping in the rankings and a new Superintendent in the same year, WHAT A COINCIDENCE!
Art Elmers August 21, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Continued overcrowding and virtually no new classrooms in sight, WHAT A COINCIDENCE!
William Mays August 22, 2012 at 02:30 AM
Yeah what happened to all those science classrooms and expansion that we voted in and are "on hold."
Tracy August 22, 2012 at 03:35 AM
And a drop in rankings preceding strong, comprehensuve leadership in the central office-- these changes should have been calculated into curricula, culture and forecasted into what the high school would need., by Bandlow, by Calabro and a strong central office and previous BOE. This is more evidence that upper level planning, anticipation of affect and forecasting needs of children - between the new superintendent (Engravalle took the helm in November 2011) and his new leadership team, a stronger and cohesive BOE, this should be bettered in significant measure by next years rankings.
Tracy August 22, 2012 at 03:53 AM
Billy- if this was 12-13 rankings I would agree with you but this fall in rankings is 10-11, and rest squarely on the superintendant and administration (bandlow, possibly colabro) that knew about changes that the state was going to require--- or use as the statistical analysis. I fully expect results from this new central office leadership, and expect the BOE to hold all administrators accountable. Fort Lee deserves nothing less.
Toni M. August 22, 2012 at 04:21 AM
Billy Mays does it again! Maybe if u read the article before making such a ridiculous post. So ur blaming the new Super and he wasn't even the Super when the data was calculated. GOOD JOB Billy! Keep up ur cracker jack analysis! What the ranking proves is we needed drastic change and hopefully we'll get it. So all those peeps who were complaining about restructure need to reconsider all the bitterness cause we were headed down hill in a handbasket.
William Mays August 22, 2012 at 04:21 AM
Stronger and cohesive BOE? The BOE has been terrible lately.
Lisa Salvato August 22, 2012 at 05:34 AM
dropping in the ratings and a new board president in the same week, WHAT A COINCIDENCE. lol. you can't make this stuff up
William Mays August 22, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Oops, didn't notice the part with 2010-2011, we'll have to wait till next year to see how much more they'll fall after Engravalle has his first full year as Emperor of Fort Lee Public Schools.
Tracy August 22, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Billy- those new friends who figured out who you are have been feeding you bad information. The 11-12 BOE has done more for the children and their education than what has been done in 10 years, new elementary curricula, referendum for decade old repair and maintenance on our schools - I hope that the 12-13 BOE will follow suit and not allow the special interests groups to influence with their own agenda.
Luca D. August 22, 2012 at 02:08 PM
The report shouldn't surprise anyone that has their pulse on the District's educational issues. The current administration was vocal in it's needs and the modifications that were to be made - notwithstanding opposition from a handful of dangerously uninformed obstructionists. The report should be clear and convincing proof that it is time to allow the professionals to deal with the issues at hand. The current administration disclosed that the District does not have curricula for all courses - prior adminis and boards should receive failing grades for their refusal to address this critical and mandated requirement. The report uses Advanced Placement grades as a critical component. Why are students who should not be in AP classes permitted to take such courses at the expense of the District to the detriment of those who earned the right to be there? It's a disservice to the students who truly belong and a disservices to the District for lowering it's rank and expending funds needlessly. No more coddling, no more "feel good" decision making. Finally, if we stop blaming the Superintendent for every malfunction it would move us closer to resolving the issues of concern.
Jenna August 22, 2012 at 09:20 PM
I was less than enthusiastic about Mr E becoming the Superintendent. I was opposed to it. But I have to point out that when the middle school was recognized, the Principal was given praises. So why does the same not hold true when the High School drops in ranking. If we are to blame why does it lay with the Superintendent as opposed to the Principal? Fair is Fair. Either praise / blame the Office of the Superintendent for everything or lay it at the hands of the Principals. Let us stop with the blame game when it suits our objectives.
William Mays August 22, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Well because the way its going to be is that when it falls, its going to be the principals fault and when they go up, the superintendent will take credit. I'll admit it, I was wrong, I missed the part in the article about 2010-2011, but that doesn't change the fact that I don't see what good Engravalle will do for this town when he goes around firing teachers whom a ton of kids showed up in support of. I don't see any of the dinosaurs getting fired, the ones that are actually dragging this district down.
William Mays August 22, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Luca, because some people don't get into AP because of dumb reasons, or honors classes for that matter. I think that instead of allowing everyone into whichever class they want, they should allow the kids into the class for a trial period and if the kid can keep up, let them stay, if not, send them to their level class.
Jenna August 22, 2012 at 10:08 PM
How would you define a ton of students? There were less than 20 and it was unclear how many actually had the two teachers of which you speak. How can you be so sure that teachers were improperly dismissed? Perhaps these teachers contributed to the decline in the rank.
William Mays August 22, 2012 at 10:11 PM
At the Board meetings? I'm pretty sure there were more than 20 at the first one, and the second one. I know people whose kids had those teachers and they've told me wonderful things about them. Read their teacher ratings on the Web. I doubt they contributed. He also dismissed the principal of School no.1, for unknown reasons.
Jenna August 22, 2012 at 10:14 PM
You are incorrect.
William Mays August 22, 2012 at 10:16 PM
I might be incorrect about the attendance at the meetings, but the ratings speak for themselves Jenna.
Jenna August 22, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Well I would say that as an individual who did not support Mr. E's hiring, now that he is in place, I support him in turning the schools around. To say he will fail is horrible and petty. A boss has to look at the best interests of the entire school system. If the employees were let go for no reason as you like to post over and over and over they would have appealed the decisions. Good leaders make unpopular decisions.
William Mays August 22, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Jenna, I too hope that he will improve the schools, but so far I don't like what I see.
Jenna August 22, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Well since Mr. E has been in the position for a total of 12 days ya may want to hold off on the nasty things ya say about him.
William Mays August 22, 2012 at 11:01 PM
12 days as Superintendent, hes been Interim since November.
Jenna August 22, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Yes dear I know. It was a figure of speech.
Gene August 26, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Is this all accurate? I just looked at the NJ Magazine schools ranking http://njmonthly.com/articles/towns_and_schools/highschoolrankings/top-high-schools-2010.html and see Fort Lee ranked 72 in 2010. That is improvment from 75 in 2008 !!! 2010 2008 High School 72 75 Fort Lee
Howard L. Pearl August 27, 2012 at 12:36 PM
The BOE has consistently stated that Fort Lee education has been steadily improving in the rankings. Clearly, this news is extremely disappointing. Mr. Engravalle clearly has his work ahead of him. If the Board members were to support him unilaterally, and if they were to make an effort to support each other, there may be hope on the horizon. It is understandable that BM is so critical of the BOE: he claims to be a product of the Fort Lee School system which obviously failed him completely.
Art Elmers August 27, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Let's look at the Data. I looked at the Data for the Top 100 High Schools and noticed a couple of trends. First and I believe the most important was that class size matters. Fort Lee has a class size average of 23.1 students per class. Of the 96 schools ranked higher (Montville, #39, being the highest ranked), only seven had an average class size larger than Fort Lee. Second was the percentage of students who achieved a score of 3 or higher on their AP tests. A total of 82 schools scored higher than our 69.3%. This was a hugh drop from the 86% we had in the 2010 rankings. This could indicate that perhaps we did not prepare our students as well for AP tests or that maybe many more students took AP classes and tests and therefore less scored 3 or above. Our SAT average scores dropped from 1654 in 2010 to 1610. 52 schools had a higher SAT average than Fort Lee. The percentage of students ranking advanced proficient in the HSPA language and math tests improved from 19% to 28% in language and stayed basically the same 33% to 32% in math. Since these tests are taken by all students, I believe the SAT and AP changes are the result of more non-traditional students taking those tests. After review, it is clear that if we want to see our High School ranked higher, we need to reduce class size and evaluate why our AP and SAT score dropped.
William Mays August 27, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Actually the school system was pretty good when I went there. It didn't fail me Howard and it isn't failing my kids. Seems like you were bullied in school or something because you make yourself feel better by insulting other people. Pretty bad insults too.
William Mays August 27, 2012 at 06:34 PM
I think the AP Score dropped as a result of the open class policies. They should make people take a test before allowing them into AP classes if they weren't recommended by their teachers.
Luca D. September 26, 2012 at 06:50 PM
I never graduated high school, but I got my G.E.D. through the mail.

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