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Woodbridge High School Makes NJ Monthly's Top 20 Most Improved Schools List

The high school that is under investigation by the state for cheating on standardized tests just made the list of NJ schools that have shown the most improvement - in areas such as standardized test scores.


One of Woodbridge Township's three high schools under investigation for allegations of cheating on standarized tests was just listed as one of the state's '20 most improved high schools' on a NJ Monthly report ranking secondary schools.

In 2010, came in 229th out of New Jersey's 328 public high schools, according to the magazine's rankings. 

This year, Woodbridge High jumped 59 points to achieve a ranking of 170th among the state's public high schools. NJ Monthly took special note of Woodbridge as one of the "Top 20 Most Improved High Schools" for 2012.

For the first time, Woodbridge beat one of the two other high schools in the township in the magazine's ranking of secondary institutions by the dramatic 59-point improvement in its school ranking. One township high school still outstrips WHS by 38 points.

climbed 10 points from its 2010 rank of 192 to 182 this year, and in Iselin - while still higher than WHS in the NJ Monthly high school rankings - shaved 14 points off its score, going from 146th place in 2010 to 132nd in 2012.

NJ Monthly explained that it changed some of its methodology in how it achieves the rankings. They eliminated calculating the ratio of computers to students, because the high prevalence of computers no longer makes it a factor in the ratings.

More significantly, they said they "increased the weighting for data on test results", which would include the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).

That is the standardized tests students take in their junior year. It is also said to be the test for which Woodbridge High has fallen under the examination of state officials.

At a special Board of Education meeting August 7, Woodbridge Schools Superintendent John Crowe publicly said that the by the NJ Department of Education (NJDOE) because of irregularities in its standardized test score results.

That followed of Assistant Schools Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Lois Rotella earlier this month. Rotella's job was immediately posted; Colonia High School principal Dr. Robert at the regular August 17 BOE meeting.

The NJ Monthly issue with the school ranking article is due out on newsstands this week.

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Tony_S August 24, 2012 at 07:25 PM
This is a joke? I know I shouldn't say anything or I'll get run off the board by angry people who don't like the truth.
NotInKansasAnymore August 25, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Does this make any sense even to the BOE? I think we're in the Twilight Zone!
rtmtech August 26, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Woodbridge is a disgrace. With all the tax dollars going to the BoE, voters especially those with children, should be outraged. The first post announcement BoE meeting at PS21 had a strong police presence. I guess they were expecting a justifiable revolt. The next meeting did not. People are too laissez-faire about how their tax dollars are spent and the ethics of elected officials. Nobody with any ethics even wants to run for BoE. That leaves our local foxes in charge of a chicken coup worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Pathetic, but Crowe's contract will probably be renewed in spite of the scandal, and of course Lois Rotella took a nice retirement package based on a six-figure salary that all tax payers of Woodbridge will finance. I guess you have to be caught in the act of a felony to lose your pension in Woodbridge. Systematic cheating on a state exam won't do it. It will just devalue the educational credentials of the students. So sad.
David August 30, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Tom, I agree with your comment about teachers being under pressure to increase test scores. I never taught in a public school, but I formerly was a college instructor, and I can clearly tell you that there is only so much that a teacher can do. You can be the best teacher ever, you can spend endless amounts of extra time with students, and some students will still fail. No Child Left Behind (NCLB) forces each school to improve its test results every year, or be subject to severe sanctions. The reality is that sometimes a school cannot improve its test scores. Student performance on these tests is affected by a lot of things that the school can't control, such as what goes on when the student goes home. I'm sympathetic to teachers who are between a rock and hard place with these tests, particularly teachers who are compelled by theadministrators to allow cheating.
David August 30, 2012 at 01:27 AM
rtmtech, I live in Woodbridge Township, and I think that the lack of concern about the cheating scandal stems from parents' dislike of these standardized tests. A lot of people view these tests as complete BS. No Child Left Behind requires that a school's average test scores improve each year, or else severe sanctions are levied against the school. However, the reality is that there is a limit to the extent that schools can improve student performance, and it is very questionable how well these tests actually measure student learning.

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