US News & World Report’s “Best High Schools in America” – 25 NJ County Vocational-Technical Schools Make the List

May 1st, 2013

Twenty-five New Jersey county vocational-technical schools have been ranked among the best high schools in America by U.S. News & World Report.

Biotechnology High School in Freehold, part of the Monmouth County Vocational School District, led the list of New Jersey schools and was ranked #8 nationally.

Seven of the ten highest-ranked New Jersey schools were county vocational-technical schools.  Thirteen county vocational-technical schools received Gold Medals, one school received a Silver Medal and 14 schools received Bronze Medals and national recognition.  In all, 81 New Jersey high schools made the magazine’s 2013 list.

For the 2013 report, U.S. News analyzed 21,035 public high schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia.  Twenty-three percent of the schools surveyed made the Best High Schools list:  The top 500 schools received gold medals, 1,790 schools received silver medals and 2,515 schools received bronze medals.

According to the U.S. News web site, the methodology for ranking schools was “…developed with a core principle in mind:  that the best schools must serve all students well and must produce measurable academic outcomes that support this mission.”  The study examined data on student performance on state language arts and math accountability tests, particularly the performance of disadvantaged students, and student participation in and performance on Advanced Placement (AP) exams and International Baccalaureate (IB) exams.

Dr. Philip Guenther, the President of the New Jersey Council of County Vocational-Technical Schools and the Superintendent of Atlantic County Institute of Technology, noted that by their very nature, “all of these attempts to rank schools nationally have their limitations because they are based only on the specific criteria set by the evaluating organizations.

“However, the fact that 31% of the New Jersey schools on the U.S. News list are county vocational-technical schools is a recognition that 21st century career and technical education fosters academic excellence and career and college readiness for all types of students,” Dr. Guenther said.  “It’s important to note that while many of the schools on the list are specialized academies for high-performing students with specific career goals, ten of them are larger county-vocational schools that provide a wide variety of technical programs.

“It’s also gratifying to see the recognition given to a number of county vocational-technical schools that serve large numbers of economically-disadvantaged students, many of whom enter high school performing below grade level in many academic areas,” Dr Guenther said.

The New Jersey county vocational-technical high schools on U.S. News’ 2013 “Best High Schools” list are:

Gold Medal
• Biotechnology High School (Freehold) – Monmouth County Vocational School District
• High Tech High School (Lincroft) – Monmouth County Vocational School District
• Bergen Academies (Hackensack) – Bergen County Technical Schools
• Bergen Tech (Teterboro) – Bergen County Technical Schools
• Middlesex County Academy for Science, Math and Engineering Technologies (Edison)
• Academy for Allied Health Sciences (Scotch Plains) – Union County Vocational-Technical School
• Academy of Allied Health and Science (Neptune) – Monmouth County Vocational School District
• Academy for Information Technology (Scotch Plains) – Union County Vocational-Technical School
• Union County Magnet High School (Scotch Plains) – Union County Vocational-Technical School
• Marine Academy of Science and Technology (Highlands) – Monmouth County Vocational School District

Silver Medal
• High Tech High School (North Bergen) – Hudson County Schools of Technology

Bronze Medal/National Recognition (no numerical rankings included in the report)
• Academy for Math, Science and Engineering (Rockaway) – Morris County Vocational School District
• Atlantic County Institute of Technology (Mays Landing)
• Bloomfield Tech (Bloomfield) – Essex County Vocational Technical Schools
• Camden County Technical Schools Pennsauken Campus
• Communications High School (Wall) – Monmouth County Vocational School District
• County Prep High School (Jersey City) – Hudson County Schools of Technology
• Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science (Manahawkin) – Ocean County Vocational-Technical School
• Middlesex County Academy for Allied Health and Medical Science (Woodbridge)
• Morris County School of Technology (Denville)
• Newark Tech (Newark) – Essex County Vocational Technical Schools
• North 13th Street Tech (Newark) – Essex County Vocational Technical Schools
• Passaic County Institute of Technology (Wayne)
• Somerset County Vocational & Technical Schools (Bridgewater)
• Union County Tech (Scotch Plains)

Here’s the news release from U.S. News, which contains links to FAQs and a description of the survey methodology.

Here’s the complete list of New Jersey schools that made the 2013 “Best High Schools” ranking. 

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