ELIZABETH — Elizabeth High School and Alexander Hamilton Preparatory Academy were two of 4,887 schools from throughout the United States to earn national rankings as part of the 2012 U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools rankings.
Schools receiving national rankings from U.S. News & World Report were designated with gold, silver, and bronze medals. Elizabeth High School, ranked No. 139 nationally, received a gold medal designated for schools ranked one through 500. Hamilton Preparatory Academy, ranked No. 1,421 nationally, received a silver medal designated for schools ranked 501 through 2,008.
U.S. News teamed up with the Washington, D.C.-based American Institutes for Research (AIR), one of the largest behavioral and social science research organizations in the world, to produce the 2012 rankings. The rankings were based on the analysis of 21,776 public high schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
Elizabeth High School and Hamilton Preparatory Academy ranked No. 6 and No. 46 respectively in the State of New Jersey
Elizabeth Public Schools was one of only two non-exclusively vocational school districts to have multiple high schools ranked in the top 50 in New Jersey, joining West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District.
The rankings methodology was based on the key principles that a great high school must serve all of its students well, not just those who are college-bound, and that it must be able to produce measurable academic outcomes to show the school is successfully educating its student body across a range of performance indicators.
A three-step process determined the best high schools in the nation. The first two steps ensured that the schools serve their students well, using performance on state proficiency tests as the benchmarks. For those schools that made it past the first two steps, a third step assessed the degree to which schools prepare students for post-secondary education.
State ranks were only given to schools awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals. There were 51 New Jersey high schools earning any of those distinctions.
Superintendent Pablo Muñoz was pleased to see both Elizabeth High School and Hamilton Preparatory Academy ranked among the nation’s best high schools.
“Elizabeth High School and Hamilton Preparatory Academy have taken the lead in helping our district to fulfill its vision of becoming one of the best school systems in America. I am proud of their commitment to excellence and commend them for setting the bar high for the rest of our schools,” said Muñoz.
Elizabeth High School Principal Michael Cummings believes a collective effort, from the Elizabeth Board of Education at the district level to Elizabeth High School staff members and students at the school level, made earning this distinction possible.
“We are very pleased with the U.S. News and World Report’s recognition of our school as one of the best high schools in America. On behalf of the faculty, students, and parents I would like to thank such an esteemed publication for this honor. It represents a great deal of effort on the part of our students, support from our board of education, and the high standards of our teachers – truly a team effort.”
George Mikros, Principal of Hamilton Preparatory Academy stated, “The appointment of Alexander Hamilton Preparatory Academy to this national list underscores the quality of our teachers, the dedication of our school community and lastly the hard work and dedication of our students, who day-in and day-out prove that we can compete with any school district, no matter what the socio-economic background or challenge we face. Our students are now considered among the nation’s best.”
For the U.S. News and World Report’s Best High Schools in New Jersey rankings, visit http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/new-jersey.