Jefferson High Rank Rises After Error Corrected
School rises to 167 from 211 in NJ Monthly's rankings.
Jefferson Township High School’s ranking in NJ Monthly’s report on New Jersey high schools rose from 211 to 167 after the magazine’s editors corrected a data error and recalculated the ranking numbers, according to Jefferson superintendent Joseph Kraemer. However, the school still fell from a 158 ranking last year.
The error occurred when the state Department of Education report card, which NJ Monthly used to calculate the rankings, did not utilize the most updated information that Jefferson provided, according to Kraemer.
While Kraemer gave the magazine credit for working with high school principal Karl Mundi to get the data corrected, he is still unhappy with the ranking system, pointing out a multitude of reasons at Monday night’s board of education meeting.
“First of all, the magazine used data from the 2010-2011 school year,” Kraemer said. “We’ve made significant improvements in many areas this year.”
While Kraemer admitted with the district’s 1453 average SAT score needing work, he pointed to increases in advanced proficiency in both language arts and math.
“In 2011, we had 17.6 percent of students advanced proficient in language arts. In 2012, that number rose to 20.4 percent. In math, we had 18.4 percent of students advanced proficient in 2011, while in 2012 that number was 23.8 percent,” Kraemer said. “But these numbers aren’t taken into account.”
He also pointed to the advanced placement (AP) courses the school offers.
“The problem with that is that NJ Monthly only bases the rankings on students that pass the AP exams. We could raise those numbers if we only encouraged the kids who we know will pass to take the tests, but that’s not the purpose of AP exams, and we won’t do that. We’d never tell a kid not to take a test because he or she might not pass.”
Kraemer said he believed the magazine only uses numbers that are easily downloadable, and doesn’t take into account things like a school’s vocational program, special education, and how a school meets the needs of its students.
“I’m making no excuses here. I know we still have work to do, and we’re working every day to improve,” Kraemer said.