April 25, 2014 at 12:35 AM
CHATHAM, NJ - Chatham High has earned a national "Gold Medal" award from U.S. News and World Report, which ranked it academically as the No. 9 high school in New Jersey and No. 209 nationally.
Dr. Michael LaSusa, Superintendent for the School District of the Chathams, noted that it was an "eventful" week for education in town. The 2014-15 school budget passed easily on Wednesday, April 23, and Chatham High students were ranked among the best in the state and the nation.
"We don't put a lot of stock on any kind of ranking because we don't think they capture the full picture of an educational process," LaSusa said. "Having said that, it's nice to be recognized. We're ranked No. 2 among public schools in the state."
Ridge High at No. 7 was the only public school to rank higher than Chatham. The top 10 New Jersey High Schools are: 1-Biotechnology High (Freehold). 2-High Technology (Lincroft). 3-McNair Academic (Jersey City). 4-Middlesex County Academy (Edison). 5-Bergen County Technical (Teterboro). 6-Academy of Allied Health and Science (Neptune). 7-Ridge (Basking Ridge). 8-Union County Magnet (Scotch Plains). 9-Chatham High. 10-Princeton High.
There are 1,145 students at Chatham High and 80 teachers. U.S. News calculates its rankings based on student performance on state exams and internationally available exams, as well as college-level course work such as Advanced Placement exams.
Ninety-nine percent of Chatham students tested proficient in language and 95 percent were deemed proficient in math. In the college readiness index, Chatham ranked 63.2 percent above the national average.
in Advanced Placement testing, 66 percent of Chatham students were tested and 62 percent passed. Chatham's math and language proficiency were each 3.5 percent above the national average.
Chatham's recently passed budget included a second question to dedicate an additional $460,000 yearly to enhance technology education in the district. Chatham currently ranks No. 199 nationally in Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
"The budget passing is definitely a good thing," LaSusa said. "We didn't anticipate such wide approval. I think the credit for that is the terrific support we've received from 'Education Counts,' headed up by Alan Routh."