A bumper crop of New Jersey Blue Ribbon Schools was announced today by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, with 15 schools given the honor this year, bringing the number of those so honored in the state to 82 since 2003.
Nationally, A total of 236 public and 50 private schools were identified as Blue Ribbon schools this year.
To be named a Blue Ribbon school, an institution must demonstrate “very high levels of academics or significant improvement made in students’ academic achievement.” The U.S. Department of Education looks for schools that have marks of achievement such as placing among the top 15 percent academically in statewide tests for reading and mathematics, including socially disadvantaged students. For private schools, one indicator is placing in the top 15 percent of schools nationally on a nationally recognized test. The state Department of Education nominates public schools for the honor and the Council for American Private Education (CAPE) does so for private institutions.
Many of this year’s New Jersey honorees were county magnet and vocational-technical schools, including two in Union County (the Academy for Information Technology and the county Magnet High School); High Tech High School in North Bergen; Middlesex County Academy for Science Mathematics & Engineering Technologies; Morris County School of Technology; and the Marine Academy of Science and Technology in Sandy Hook.
There were also six parochial schools awarded Blue Ribbons, including the Academy of Our Lady in Glen Rock; Aquinas Academy in Livingston; Immaculate Conception in Annandale; Rabbi Pesach Raymon Yeshiva in Edison; St. Francis Academy in Union City; and St. Rose of Lima Academy in Short Hills. Dover High School, Harrison High School, and Wildwood High School were also given the honor.