Livingston BOE Discusses School Report Card

June 19, 2014 at 6:55 AM

LIVINGSTON, NJ - The Livingston Board of Education discussed the "Livingston Report Card" at Monday evening's meeting.

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Mary Oates presented a comparison of Livingston High School’s (LHS) rankings with other schools in New Jersey and across the nation, as compiled by national publications, such as: the Washington Post, U.S. World News & Report and Newsweek. The state report card released by the New Jersey Department of Education places a heavy emphasis on the growth of Advanced Placement (AP) and the taking of AP tests. In turn, the state report card is often used as a metric to determine a school’s place in state and national rankings.

“It’s important to keep in mind that different publications might use different metrics to determine their scores,” Oates said. “That’s why the [LHS ranking] might vary according to who is doing the ranking.”

Sign Up for E-News

According to Oates, LHS has seen tremendous growth in multiple areas of AP testing over the previous five-year period (2009-2013). The total number of students taking AP classes has increased by 65 percent, while the number of students taking AP exams has increased by 63.5 percent.The number of students who have scored at least a “3” or higher on at least one of their exams has increased by 72 percent.

The Washington Post methodology divides the number of graduating seniors in a class by the number of AP, International Baccalaureate and other college level tests to determine a school’s score. By that metric, LHS ranked 18th in New Jersey and 793rd in the country. Both rankings were substantial improvements from one year ago.

The rankings for Newsweek incorporated several measures, such as: graduation rate, college matriculation and the number of AP/IB tests taken per student, among other measures to determine a ranking. LHS ranked 9th in New Jersey.

U.S. World News & Report compiled its rankings based on how high schools compared to other schools within their own state in certain measures. Those measures included whether a school performed better than expected in state accountability measures, whether a school performed better than expected for the school’s least advantaged students and whether a school exceeded expectations in providing access to challenging college-level coursework. After ranking 401st last year, LHS was not ranked this year.

“We contacted [USWNR] and we couldn’t get much solid information on why we dropped. If people are interested, we can certainly pursue that again,” Oates said.

Oates also noted that in an effort to level the playing field between small schools and large schools, the New Jersey DOE has started constructing its school report card focusing on a core of only 10 courses: English language, English literature, Calculus, Calculus BC, Biology, Chemistry, Physics B, European history, U.S. history and U.S. Government and Politics.

As Physics B is the only AP science course evaluated by the state, Livingston’s numerous other science courses carry no weight in the report card. LHS currently has over 100 students in various science courses including the popular AP environmental science course.

“We know that some of our peer districts have contracted some of their AP science offerings because they don’t help in the rankings. We have to strike a balance between striving for recognition and offering our students choices,” Oates said.

Board member Leslie Winograd echoed those sentiments, saying “Chasing rankings is not palatable to me. Rankings are certainly a matter of pride, but more important is the depth and breadth of what we teach.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Chris Brown Named President at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties is proud to announce the appointment of Chris Brown to President of the 21-office real estate brokerage headquartered in Somerset, New Jersey. Previously serving as Executive Vice President and General Sales Manager, Brown is a member of the company’s ownership team along with Bill Keleher, Seymour and Nancy Litwin, and Steve Janett.

Montclair First Responders Rush to Rescue Man Under Fallen Oil Tank

December 4, 2016

MONTCLAIR, NJ – Members of the Montclair Fire Department spent nearly two hours on Saturday afternoon rescuing a man who was trapped under an oil tank in a trench at 26 Linden Avenue.

According to published reports, Montclair Fire Department officials arrived after being alerted by witnesses to find the man in a trench filled with dirt and under the tank up to his ...

Randolph's Brendan Fletcher Reaches Top 8 on NBC’s “The Voice”

December 4, 2016

LOS ANGELES, CA - “And though the course may change sometimes, rivers always reach the sea,” Led Zepplin, Ten Years Gone

After years of changing his course, living in New Jersey, Boston, Brooklyn, and Charleston, all while singing in small local bars, at open mic nights, and working as a bartender to make ends meet, Randolph’s Brendan Fletcher always ...

Don't Sacrifice the Environment to Fund the State Treasury

November 23, 2016

Dear Editor:

New Jersey’s Natural Resource Damages (NRD) program is an incredibly important and necessary program rising from the state’s history of incremental spills and discharges, as well as historic industrialization. 

NRD requires polluters to go beyond the mandated cleanup and to pay damages for restoration and compensation for the public loss of use of natural ...

Friends of the Livingston Library Restocks Its Ongoing Book Sale for December

December 1, 2016

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Friends of the Livingston Library has fully restocked its Ongoing Book Sale for the month of December. On a monthly basis, Friends takes down all stock and replaces it with entirely new inventory. 

This is the “Friends flip.” Approximately 1200 items of fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, DVDs, and CDs are available at great ...

Andy’s Family Music Showcases Alex Weiss on Drums

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Andy’s Family Music Center of Livingston is proud to highlight 11-year-old Alex Weiss, a fifth grader at Collins Elementary School with an aptitude for drums.

Alex studies drums at Andy’s under the instruction of Joe Vitello. He says hid favorite band is Fall Out Boy and that his dad is his number one musical influence.

Check him out in the video ...

Recently, the owners of Meadowbrook Country Day Camp, Dan Milman and George Stein, took part in a fun Question and Answer session. Below are the questions and their responses. To learn more about Milman, Stein and Meadowbrook, click here to read a recent article that ran on


George: A six lb.

Getting a Handle on Thanksgiving

This year, on our National Day of Thanks, I would like to express my gratitude for having hands.

We typically don’t thank our body parts because they seldom leave us.  Most of us have not experienced unfortunate accidents or suffered the horrible consequences of war; tragic events  which might cause us to lose a limb.  

Most of us take our fingers and hands and elbows ...

Beckerman’s Theory of Everything

Any armchair theoretical physicist knows that Stephen Hawking has pursued a lifelong quest to come up with a Theory of Everything. This all-encompassing theory would tie together general relativity (large scale and high mass galaxies, stars, etc), quantum theory (quantum mechanics, quarks, atoms, subatomic particles), and Newtonian physics (gravity on small bodies, gas laws, electromagnetism) to ...