OCEAN COUNTY, NJ – A 2021 list released by U.S. News & World Report last week ranks high schools both nationally and statewide. The study considered 424 public high schools throughout New Jersey and used data from the 2018-2019 school year.

Most of Ocean County’s high schools appeared in the report, with a couple notably absent. Neither the Marine Academy for the Environment Sciences or the Performing Arts Academy received a spot on the rankings list.

Similarly specialized high schools in other counties placed at the top, both nationally and statewide. Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering came out number one in New Jersey. The same school garnered the #27 position nationally as far as the Best High Schools in the United States.

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Point Pleasant Beach High School earned the top spot of Ocean County public high schools included in the list. It came in at 104/424.  Point Pleasant Borough High School followed at 143, and New Egypt High School at 187.

Toms River’s regional high schools showed some disparity as far as rankings. Toms River North made it to 197 on the list, Toms River East, 221, and Toms River South at 283.

In Southern Ocean County, Pinelands High School came in at 230, followed by Barnegat High School at 249 and Lacey High School at 316.

Southern Regional High School shared a ranking marked 350-406 with several other schools, many in urban districts. These included Jersey City, Newark and Paterson.

New Jersey schools continue to rank the highest in the nation. While many Ocean County schools appear on the bottom half of the state list, the same is not true for them nationwide.

Point Pleasant Beach High School, for example, ranked 2,231 in national rankings as compared to nearly 18,000 high schools. Barnegat High School placed 7,650.

The study assigns points for different aspects of high school performance. This includes the standard state required tests, how many students take AP courses, and how many actually graduate from high school. The latter assigned 10% of the total ranking criteria.

While most Ocean County high schools showed graduation rates above 90%, Lakewood High School represented one exception. They reported a graduation rate of 81%. Lacey High School fell just below with an 89% graduation rate.

College readiness accounted for the most points in accessing high schools throughout the nation, with 30% of scores assigned to it. The balance considered Math and Reading Proficiency, Underserved Student Performance and College Curriculum.

Those interested in the complete analysis of schools throughout Ocean County should search through the link provided in the beginning of the article.