Readers who saw our Aug. 20 article, West Essex High School Ranked No. 274 in America, may have been wondering why West Essex’s other high school, James Caldwell was left off the list.
According to the Caldwell-West Caldwell Board of Education, Newsweek never reached out to James Caldwell High School for data to be included in the rankings of the top 500 high schools in America.
The Caldwell-West Caldwell school district posted the following statement on their Facebook page on Aug. 20:
“Caldwell-West Caldwell Public Schools is disappointed that Newsweek did not have the appropriate data from James Caldwell High School to include JCHS in their annual listing of America’s Top High Schools. Unfortunately we have no record of receiving the request for data that Newsweek indicates was sent to the district. We are sorry we weren’t included in the research. We are confident our data would have placed us well among the top high schools in New Jersey and nation.”
This was not the first time that James Caldwell was left off of Newsweek’s annual list of the top high schools in America. Last year, West Essex High School was ranked No. 944 while James Caldwell was left off the list entirely.
Despite not making the Newsweek list, James Caldwell was recently ranked along with West Essex High School on The Washington Post’s list of the most challenging high schools in America. West Essex was ranked No. 1,272 while James Caldwell was listed as the 2,279th most challenging high school in the nation.
Another prominent Essex County high school, Livingston High School was also left off Newsweek’s most recent rankings and like James Caldwell, said that Newsweek never reached out for the information to be included in the rankings.
Representatives from the Caldwell-West Caldwell school district said that they hope to be included in the data gathering process for Newsweek's list of the top high schools in America next year.
"Anytime an organization or individual is willing to give us evaluative feedback about our schools, we welcome the opportunity,” said Caldwell-West Caldwell Superintendent Dr. James Heinegg in an email. “Although we were unable to participate in the Newsweek study this year, we look forward to doing so in the future."