Morristown High Recognized Nationally

Test scores, graduation rate earns school high marks.

While it may be the tail-end of the summer, the Morris Board of Education had grades on their minds as Superintendent Dr. Thomas J. Ficarra told the assembled board on Monday that the school was given an ‘A’ grade by several media outlets.

“We received an ‘A’ grade from the Star Ledger in their ‘Inside Jersey’ magazine,” Ficarra said.

Ficarra said that the Star Ledger’s Inside Jersey ranking was particularly interesting because it was done by looking at data over more than one year.

“They pulled data from the Department of Education and looked at trends over four years,” Ficarra said. “They used the New Jersey Department of Education numbers from the High School Proficiency Assessment for each school.

According to Ficarra, the High School Proficiency Assessment, which tallies results for language arts and math tests among the general student population, was combined with SAT scores and weighted. The result was a letter grade and Morristown scored an "A".

Schools that had higher than average test scores earned As and Bs, schools with Bs were the ones that showed the most improvement in the last four years.

In short:

A - Above average scores, below average growth
B - Above average scores, above average growth
C - Below average scores, above average growth
D - Below average scores, below average growth

Beyond the Inside Jersey score, Ficarra also said Morristown High received recognition from Newsweek and New Jersey Monthly magazine. Ficarra said New Jersey Monthly had listed Morristown as one of the top public high schools in New Jersey while 93 percent graduation and college bound rate helped elevate them nationally.

“According to New Jersey Monthly Magazine and Newsweek we rank as one of the best high schools in the nation,” Ficarra said.

v11 August 28, 2013 at 12:44 PM
I need to ask why this is good news for Morristown HS..given the fact that we are ranked 75th in the State and 1272 out of 2000 schools that Newsweek ranked...These numbers represent one of the best High Schools in the nation? Maybe I am missing something.
Jayme Siegel Harvey August 28, 2013 at 05:39 PM
I don't think Dr. Ficcara should be all that surprised, those were the 4 years that the amazing class of 2013 was at MHS. That said, As I've said before v11, if you compare apples to apples, MHS is a very competitive school. Unlike many, if not all, of the more highly ranked schools, Morristown High School is a very diverse high school with all the issues that may include. Don't just look at the numbers, consider the facts.
Lewis Morris August 29, 2013 at 08:07 AM
Taken separately, I would be very careful on these ranking stats.... v11 is right on that account. However, the MHS families know that grand old building at 50 Early Street is home to a great American High School. The Morristown families that attend the local prep schools are ignorant of MHS's quality, as well as the detrimental effects of supporting a school that is detached from the community. What does 75th in the state mean? It is your call to action.
Steve J September 01, 2013 at 11:44 AM
Morristown is a great place to live, with culture, diversity, activity, entertainment, and great schools. Morristown is a diverse community and yes, part of our population brings down our school rankings, yet MHS is very competitive if you compare apples to apples, by demographics, as Jayme Siegel Harvey mentions. Lewis Morris takes a swipe at Morristown families that send their kids to private school as ignorant to MHS's quality. The only thing ignorant about that is the statement itself, ignorance to the blessing of the freedom we all enjoy here in the United States, including the freedom to choose where to send their children to school. As a public school parent, I know many friends and neighbors who send their children to public school, parochial school, private school and often their choices have nothing to do with MHS. Families make the decisions they feel best for their children and there are many reasons why a parent might make an alternative educational choice, and we should respect their decisions. It is also ignorant to say that these private schools are detached from our community. Delbarton, Peck, Assumption, etc. are all part of our community, just as MHS and the other Morris School District schools are and the opportunity here in Morristown to have so many educational choices is a blessing, not a detriment.
Lewis Morris September 02, 2013 at 07:35 AM
Let make a date to pile some Nabe kids into my ten year old Toyota for a stroll on the Delbarton campus to find out just how "un-detached." they are.
Steve J September 02, 2013 at 11:31 AM
Did you just call Delbarton racist? Have you tried taking that stroll or is this just another wild assumption/accusation, like saying that private school parents are ignorant? MHS and Delbarton have always had a rivalry, it is part of Morristown and the same could be said for Bayley Ellard before it closed. Many of the students at Delbarton are local kids who are friends with our public school kids as they went through the lower grades together, are neighbors, are on the same youth sports teams, or attend church together. Many are active in our community, as are their parents, regardless of which high school they attend. In Morristown, we have the blessing of having educational choices (of course, depending on your financial situation) and there is nothing wrong with parents choosing private over public. I knew a family a few years ago that had one student at Delbarton, one at MHS, and one at Morris Catholic, three very different students going to the school that best fit their situation. Beyond questioning how they managed the insane transportation challenges that they had, I never questioned their commitment to any of the those three schools or their attachment to our community. Support our schools and seek positive change where needed, but don't make lame assumptions or accusations that divide our community while providing no value.
Lewis Morris September 02, 2013 at 09:59 PM
I didn't use the term "racist" or even imply it. I would expect to be tossed off any private school campus if I drove a mini van full of YMCA kids on it too. I also didn't say, "private school parents are ignorant." You left out the key phrase "of MHS Quality." Which does change the meaning of the sentence. But since you are in such a fine lather, here's a fact I bet you are ignorant of: the high correlation of property values to public school rankings. That is why supporting MHS is important to the community, and not just another "educational choice" as you put it. Here's some articles on the correlation of high school rankings to property values: http://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/2011/04/06/school-districts-real-estate-prices/ http://www.forbes.com/2011/04/25/best-schools-for-real-estate-buck.html http://www.sfchronicle.com/realestate/article/Realtors-to-get-a-lesson-on-test-scores-4452066.php http://trends.truliablog.com/2012/08/school-districts-people-flock-to-and-flee-from/ And finally, thank you for helping me make another point by speaking out in a Patch article against improving the MHS field.
Steve J September 03, 2013 at 10:19 AM
Wait, which is worse, "Nabe kids" in an "ten year old Toyota" old car or "a minivan full of YMCA kids"? Casting judgement on Delbarton, or calling private school parents ignorant, does nothing to support our public schools. I'm aware of the relationship between school quality and property value. I questioned your comments as inaccurate, divisive, and providing no value to any discussion on the quality of our local public high school. (By the way, I never spoke out against improving the MHS field. Fumes from the old Toyota getting to you?)


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