SUMMIT, NJ — The schools in Summit were rated tops in Union County and fifth-best in the state by the ranking and review website Niche in its 2018 survey of New Jersey’s public education districts.
Niche, a Pittsburgh, Pa.-based company which previously went by the name College Prowler and originally published college guidebooks, gave Summit an overall grade of “A-plus,” judging it and 372 other school districts on the basis of eight criteria ranging from academics to sports.
The rankings weighted the results based on 50 percent to academics, measured by state proficiency tests such as PARCC, SAT and ACT; 15 percent to “teachers grade,” or salaries, absenteeism, state test results; 10 percent each to racial/economic diversity and parent/student surveys; and 5 percent or less to categories such as health and safety, resources and facilities, clubs and activities and sports.
Summit, a district of 4,121 students in nine schools, received the top grade of “A-plus” in eight categories. In administration it scored an “A,” and in diversity it was awarded a “B.”
It was the only Union County school district listed in the state’s top 20, with Berkeley Heights coming in next at No. 25. Berkeley Heights received “A” or better in every category except diversity, where it was given a “C.”
Westfield was right behind at No. 26, Scotch Plains-Fanwood at No. 29, New Providence at No. 35 and Cranford at No. 40.
The other Union County school districts listed with a ranking number were Springfield at No. 74, Roselle Park at No. 93, Union at No. 120, Kenilworth at No. 127 and Clark at No. 131.
Lyndhurst in Bergen County was the last district ranked by number at 145 with an overall grade of “B.”
Schools where data could not be found for at least 50 percent of the factors being judged were excluded from the rankings, while those with 50 percent or more but lacking one of the required elements were assigned a letter grade.
Other schools without a ranking number, but with a grade, included Mountainside with a B; Rahway, B-minus; Elizabeth, C-plus; Linden, C-plus; Hillside, C; Roselle, C-minus and Plainfield, C-minus. Garwood and Winfield were not included in the rankings.
For the state of New Jersey, Princeton was ranked No. 1, followed by Millburn, West Windsor-Plainsboro and Livingston in the next three ranks.