In the recent school performance reports issued by the Christie administration, Livingston High School (LHS) ranked very high in college and career readiness, academic achievement, and graduation and post-secondary studies.
The new reports, which are replacing the standard report cards, ranks the school on three different categories: academic achievement on Language Arts Literacy and Math sections of the New Jersey High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA); college and career readiness which measures SAT, PSAT and participation in AP courses; and graduation and post-secondary graduation and drop out rates.
It also ranks schools against 30 peer schools based on free and reduced lunch, limited English proficiency programs or special education programs. LHS is in a peer group with others including Glen Rock HS, Midland Park HS, Ridgewood HS, James Caldwell HS, and, in Essex County, Cedar Grove HS.
Statewide, Livingston High School was ranked in the 81st percentile against its peers in Academic Achievement and 63rd in College and Career Readiness. However, CHS ranked in the 82nd percentile (and 90th percentile in the state) in the Graduation and Post-Secondary category.
The school's four-year graduation rate was 98.3% in 2012.
The following chart details the high school's rank:
Performance Areas Peer Rank Statewide Rank Percent Targets Met
College & Career Readiness
Graduation and Post-Secondary82 90 100%
The new ranking system, comparing schools with similar demographics, has caused controversy in some school districts. In West Orange, Interim Superintendent of Schools James O'Neill said acting New Jersey Department of Education Commissioner Chris Cerf has created the recent ranks to justify the $30 million spent on testing with no concern for misinformation in the report.
According to the report, the rank of academic achievement focused on two things, the Grade 11 HSPA tests, and Grade 10 biology test. Crisfield said he believes the tests are important but since they ultimately do not affect students unless they fail them, it is hard to motivate students to take them seriously.
"The only things that matters about this test [HSPA] is if you don't pass it," Crisfield said. "The rest of our kids, they take the HSPA it's like a break to them. Some take it seriously, a lot don't because it doesn't matter." He also said the biology test has no impact on students graduating high school.