is ranked as the No. 8 school in New Jersey on a list of top public high schools in the state and nation released on Tuesday by U.S. News and World Report. It also was ranked as no. 174 in the nation.
That achievement also should be viewed through the prism that, of the top 10 schools in the state, most are either specialized schools, such as No. 1-ranked High Technology High School in Lincroft, or other magnet schools, President Susan Carlsson said.
Ridge, along with Chatham and Princeton high schools, was among the few comprehensive high schools in the top 10.
"You have to take every person who walks in the door," Carlsson noted, while students must apply for acceptance at specialized schools.
But she added she supports the concept of comprehensive high schools. "That's the world out there," she said.
Along with being ranked against all other New Jersey high schools, Ridge was ranked nationally against about 22,000 other public high schools.
The rankings noted such benchmarks such as Advanced Placement participation and scores, with Ridge High School ranked as having 65 percent of its students taking at least one AP class during their high school career, and 61 percent passing the test. The AP participation was considered as part of the school's students' "college readiness," according to the criteria for the ranking.
The ranking also noted that 95 percent of Ridge students tested as at least proficient in math, and 98 percent in English.
The criteria details for U.S. News and World Report pointed out that ranking was partially based on whether students outperformed others at the same level of economic advantage.
Superintendent says student achievements beyond those noted in report
"Of all of the comprehensive high schools in New Jersey, Ridge is ranked second," said Bernards School Superintendent Valerie Goger. However, she said the rankings are based on the component of the number of students passing Advanced Placement exams, and, "Ridge is so much more than that."
Goger added, "We're proud of the character of our students, their achievement in many areas both curricular and extracurricular, and their level of community service that they provide all year long. It is a dynamic school and offers something for every student, regardless of ability."
Sarah Bonnefoi, Ridge Parent-Teacher Organization president for the past year, said she is not surprised by the ranking, "given the hard work and concern for students I have seen displayed by administrators and teachers alike.
Carlsson said of the ranking, "It's a nice honor." However, she said the school officials don't "get too hung up" on such results, since sometimes criteria changes, and the school's ranking can dramatically shift from year to year in various publications.
"We are pleased, but we don't rest on our laurels," she said. She said the school has other challenges coming up, such as a new state mandated program for evaluating teachers, and also the planned "common core" federal standards that will requires evaluations for all students throughout the U.S.
Nevertheless, Carlsson—who is leaving the board this month, following six years as a board member—said, "this is a great environment for kids to learn."
She said the township's parents are very supportive, raising money for school programs and athletics, and the Township Committee also is supportive of the local educational system.
Patch will continue to add to this story as further input is received.
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