News rating

NJ High School US News Rating: How Toms River fared

TOMS RIVER, NJ – US News & World Report has released its new ranking of nearly 24,000 high schools across the country. Toms River East ranked 205th in New Jersey, Toms River North was 213th, and Toms River South was 253rd out of 406 public high schools.

Nationally, Toms River East ranked 5,824th, or in the top 24.2%; Toms River North was 6,026th, the top 25%, and Toms River South was 7,589th, the top 31.6%, according to US News and World Report.

To develop the ranking, US News partnered with RTI International, a North Carolina-based nonprofit social science research firm. RTI has implemented a ranking methodology intended to reflect how well high schools serve their students.

  • University preparation (30% of the ranking): The percentage of 12th graders in the Class of 2020 who passed at least one AP or IB exam by the end of their senior year, and the percentage of 12th graders who achieved a qualifying score on at least an AP or IB exam in high school.
  • Extent of academic program (10%): The percentage of seniors in the Class of 2020 who completed a wide variety of AP and IB courses across multiple disciplines, as well as the percentage of 12th graders who scored qualifying on them.
  • Condition Assessment Skill (20%): Measures student performance on state assessments that measure reading, science, and math skills.
  • Condition Assessment Performance (20%): The difference between student performance on state assessments and what US News predicted based on the number of students in a school.
  • Performance of underserved students (10%): How well did the student population receiving a subsidized school lunch and the black and Hispanic populations perform on state assessments relative to statewide performance among students not in the subgroups aforementioned.
  • Graduation rate: The graduation rate for the class of 2020.

Learn more about the methodology here.

The US News & World Report school rankings have their detractors. James Fallows, a former editor of US News, even called them “meaningless” in an interview with NPR.

“The reason they started doing it in the early 1980s under a man named Mel Elfin was because it was a brilliant business strategy,” Fallows said. “By appealing to the human desire for rankings and knowing where you rank and where somebody else ranks, they were able to do a very important part of their business, which is now essentially the only part of their business.”

US News argues that the rankings help parents make more informed decisions about their children’s education.

“The aim is to provide a clear and unbiased picture,” the report states, “of how public schools serve all of their students – from the highest performers to the weakest – preparing them to demonstrate mastery of basic skills as well as their preparation for college-level work.”

The 2022 ranking of the best secondary schools aims to show how well the country’s public schools serve all students, regardless of their level of achievement, by teaching them basic skills and preparing them for university-level work, according to a US News press release.

The 11 best schools in New Jersey are all magnet schools or academies – where students must apply for admission. They do not have large populations of students receiving free or reduced-price lunches and they have a small percentage of students with special educational needs, unlike general population public schools.

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