Hightstown High School Rises in NJ Monthly's Rankings

The school is listed in the top 200.

Hightstown High School is moving up in the ranks. The school was listed in 161st place—up from the 180th spot in 2010—on the just-released biennial ranking of 328 public high schools in the state by New Jersey Monthly Magazine.

NJ Monthly Magazine’s 2012 rankings of the top public high schools will be featured in the September issue, which hits newsstands on Aug. 28.

The magazine notes that the average class size at Hightstown High School is 23.2 and that the combined average SAT score is 1531. 

NJ Monthly Magazine made changes to its 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.

“The school’s average class size is down sharply since the 2010 rankings, and its math scores in the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) have improved significantly. This at a time of state budget cuts and local belt-tightening,” according to the NJ Monthly Magazine article.

Here's a look at how a few other schools in the area performed:

Name 2012 Ranking 2010 Ranking

Hopewell Valley Central

 31  38 West Windsor-Plainsboro North  32  29 Princeton  59  44 West Windsor-Plainsboro South  62  16 Lawrence  82  120 Robbinsville  110  109 Hightstown  161  180 Hamilton East-Steinert
 204  189 Ewing  212  245 Hamilton West-Watson
 275  258  Hamilton North-Nottingham

The rankings from NJ Monthly come just a day after Inside Jersey published its own list of school rankings.

In that ranking, Hightstown High School ranked behind Princeton, West Windsor-Plainsboro North and South, Robbinsville, Lawrence and Hamilton-Steinert.

The categories and indicators used in the ranking by NJ Monthly, 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.

What do you think of all these rankings? Let us know in the comments section below.

Pam Parker August 24, 2012 at 11:51 AM
How far back to these rankings go?
Lynn Greene August 24, 2012 at 02:52 PM
The class of '67 was ranked at the top of NJ high schools!
Charles Cohen August 25, 2012 at 04:18 AM
Dont let this propaganda convince you to live in east windsor or let your children go to their schools. Hightstown High School is a terrible school, not to mention all the gang related problems that the people who reside in east windsor know nothing about. My child graduated in 2007 from hightstown on the honor roll, and when he went onto community college in Pa. was told he must take all remedial classes in his first semester. Terrible school, terrible education. The school even looks like a ghetto school.
Kyle Willis August 25, 2012 at 12:41 PM
You have blown it out of proportion. I am a Senior at Hightstown and even though people bash and put down the school, there are schools that are worse. It doesn't look like a ghetto school but it is not beautiful. There is a small problem with drugs but no gang problems. I am a Hightstown resident.
Lynn Greene August 25, 2012 at 08:26 PM
When I returned to visit HHS in the late '80's, it was the same bldg I had graduated from. It did not look like a ghetto school and won't be one if residents of Hightstown and East Windsor give their support, esp by helping their own children first. I was amazed at how well my old teachers remembered me! My mother, my daughter and I graduated from HHS, high in knowledge. I will be forever grateful I graduated from this school.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »