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No. 6 Rank Shows High School Excels Despite Cuts

'When the focus is on the teaching and learning process, great things happen,' Superintendent Dr. Michael Rossi said.

Pat Kennedy, co-president of the Madison High School PTSO, was "not surprised at all" when she learned Madison ranked No. 6 in the state on New Jersey Monthly magazine's list of the top public high schools.

It was best ranking yet and a jump from the No. 15 spot from the publication's last list two years ago.

But Kennedy knows Madison has excellent schools. That's one of the main reasons her family moved to the borough.

"I think Madison produces scholars," said Kennedy, who has a son who graduated from the school and another son who is a senior.

While it might not have come as a surprise, it is still good recognition, and deserved, she said.

"Administrators and teachers should all be thrilled by it," she said. "We're proud of them."

The magazine said it publishes the list every other year using rankings compiled by Leflein Associates, a research company in Ringwood, based on data reported by the schools to the New Jersey Department of Education for the 2010-2011 school year.

It takes into account average class size, student/teacher ratio, student results on the SAT, HSPA and AP tests, graduation rates and other factors, the magazine said.

This year’s list gave additional weight to student results, it said.

“This change in methodology is particularly relevant at a time when most districts have had to reexamine spending priorities,” New Jersey Monthly editor Ken Schlager said in a news release.

That was the case in Madison and Madison Schools Superintendent Dr. Michael Rossi said, despite a lack of funding from Trenton and "non-stop attempts to 'reform' education in districts that do not need reform, Madison has stood the test of time and remained the standard for excellence."

“The entire Madison Learning Community is part of this story. Parents, teachers, the BOE, our leadership group, and most importantly our talented and motivated students," he said. "When the focus is on the teaching and learning process, great things happen. It is an honor that each resident and every employee has contributed toward."

In , Jeffrey David Halpern, vice president and Madison branch manager of Coccia Realty, Inc., wrote of Madison's No. 6 ranking "there is no question that there is value in buying and living in a community that has a great school system," though it can be difficult to quantify the exact benefit of a particular ranking.

"It does however give credence to a prospective buyer to look at Madison more so this year than last," he said of the  list. "This in turn will give rise to slightly higher prices as the demand of Madison has increased. But again, it is difficult to quantify. Sure one can look at prices from one year to another, and yes, Madison prices have risen and will continue to rise.  Can one say it is attributed to a higher ranking? Who is to say? In the meantime, thank a teacher."

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