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MTHS makes the grade

by BRIANNA DELUCA Staff Writer

An evening voicemail bearing great news was left on the answering machines of Monroe Township residents on Friday, May 2.

The caller was Dr. Kenneth Hamilton, Superintendent of Monroe Township schools. His unexpected message was to address the results of the 2014 Best High Schools ranking conducted by U.S. News & World Report. Monroe Township High School made the cut.

In order to determine which schools were the best, U.S. News joined together with the American Institutes for Research, one of the largest behavioral and social science research organizations in the world.

Over 31,000 public high schools across the country were analyzed. After eliminating those that had fewer than 15 seniors during the 2011-2012 school year, only 19,411 schools became eligible for ranking.

A three-step process was then used to rank the best high schools. The first two assessed the schools on how well they teach their students, using state tests as data. The last step determined how well the schools prepare their students for college.

First, each school’s students were evaluated. U.S. News determined whether they were performing better than the state average in areas of reading and mathematics.

Next, U.S. News analyzed how well disadvantaged students in each school were performing in comparison to the state. Their math and reading proficiency scores were also examined.

Schools that made it past the first steps became eligible to be judged on college readiness. Through an extensive process, each school was eventually given a number out of 100 to represent how ready their students are for college. It was based on the percentages of 12th graders who took and passed advanced placement exams.

After sorting through all of the data, the best high schools in the country were ranked based on the three criteria.

Gold medals were awarded to the top 500 high schools based on highest college readiness, and silver medals were given to schools with the next highest readiness. Bronze medals were awarded to 1,000 more schools based on state exam performance, in alphabetical order. Then of course, there were many schools that did not receive any medals.

Monroe Township High School was ranked 1,500 out of over 19,000 schools in the country, and was awarded a silver medal.

Dr. Hamilton said on the message, “This is a huge accomplishment which we should all be proud of.”

On a more local scale, MTHS was ranked 39th out of 398 high schools in New Jersey. The best high schools in the country are listed on the U.S. News website, and can be refined for each state.

Freshman Paula Beer said, “The message from Dr. Hamilton reminded me how lucky I am to be getting such a good education.”

According to U.S. News, 94 percent of 12th grade MTHS students scored proficient or advanced proficient on Language Arts state tests. Additionally, 87 percent scored proficient or better on Mathematics state tests. These impressive statistics contributed to the school’s high ranking.

Another great aspect of MTHS is that the school was awarded with a 25.9 college readiness rate, which is near the New Jersey average. Students should feel prepared for college by the time they graduate.

Freshman John Monaco said, “It is good to know that my school is preparing me now for the future.”

Like Dr. Hamilton said, the students and teachers of MTHS should be proud of their achievements.

What is your favorite part of MTHS?

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