MRHS ranks in the top 5 percent of high schools nationwide

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Mainland Regional High School ranked top 5 percent of high schools nationwide by U.S. News and World Report Mainland Regional High School ranked top 5 percent of high schools nationwide by U.S. News and World Report

LINWOOD – Mainland Regional High School does more than give out grades. It makes them.

MRHS made the grade in a big way, ranking in the top 5 percent of high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, according to a U.S. News and World Report ranking of 21,000 high schools. Mainland came in at 872 on the nationwide list, which puts it in the top 5 percent. 

U.S. News and World Report also broke the 2013 rankings down by state, where Mainland is among the top 50 high schools, coming in at number 41.

School District Superintendent Tom Baruffi said he was particularly pleased Mainland was recognized by the ranking, saying that it is not a simple tally of the number of advanced placement courses offered; rather, it demonstrates that the district is working to meet the needs of all of its students.

How they arrived at the ranking, according to Baruffi, was a three-step process.

The first step focused on each district’s student performance in reading and math as compared to the state average, factoring in the percentage of economically disadvantaged students. This was a key factor in “leveling the playing field” for comparison purposes and also in determining how schools are meeting the needs of all students, according to Baruffi.

The second step focused on what the magazine defined as “least advantaged students”: black, Hispanic and low-income. Again, performance comparisons were made in reading and math to the state average.

The third and final step focused on “college readiness performance” to determine which schools produced the best college-level achievement for the highest percentage of their students, using advanced placement or International Baccalaureate data as the benchmarks for success.

“An important point to note is that if the schools did not get past steps one and two, they weren’t even considered for step three. In other words, the rankings are far from a simple calculation of who’s offering the most AP classes. Rather, they can be viewed as a measuring tool of how we’re doing in our quest to meet the needs of all of our students,” Baruffi said.

The superintendent said that 25 percent of the MRHS student population is considered economically disadvantaged/least advantaged. The performance of those students was measured the same as the rest of the student body, by looking at the math and reading results on the high school proficiency test. For New Jersey schools they used the HSPA results.

“While that may ensure reliable comparisons of high schools within the state, comparisons with the high schools from other states may not be as reliable. This is due to the fact that not all proficiency tests carry the same rigor,” he said.

“However, with the knowledge that the HSPA is considered to be one of the more demanding tests nationwide, we are feeling pretty good about the results and believe that if a standardized test could be applied nationally, we’d score even higher,” concluded Baruffi.

For the U.S. News and World Report ranking of the top schools nationwide see

http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/national-rankings">http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/national-rankings

MRHS seniors enjoy the noteriety their school gets as a top 50 high school In the top row from left is Max Grossman, Jessica Rich, Lauren Waldman, Kennedy Stafford, Morgan Rann and Emily Lewis. In the bottom row is Jay Feldman, Tahiya Salam, Jared Anapolle,  Hanna Anderson and Elyssa Brezel  MRHS seniors enjoy the noteriety their school gets as a top 50 high school In the top row from left is Max Grossman, Jessica Rich, Lauren Waldman, Kennedy Stafford, Morgan Rann and Emily Lewis. In the bottom row is Jay Feldman, Tahiya Salam, Jared Anapolle, Hanna Anderson and Elyssa Brezel


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