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Hopatcong H.S. Drops to 289th in NJ Monthly Rankings

Comes in 89 spots lower than two years ago and in the lower half of the state.

was ranked 289th out of the 328 state public high schools listed by New Jersey Monthly magazine this year.

Two years ago, when the rankings were last released, Hopatcong came in at No. 200, 89 spots higher than where the publication ranked it this year.

NJ Monthly uses information from the state Department of Education to develop its rankings, which only takes into account public schools in the state. Student performance and student outcomes were the most heavily weighted to determine the rankings, followed by school environment.

New Providence High School, in Union County, was ranked No. 1. Sparta High School was the top performer from Sussex County, according to the publication, coming in at No. 83. Of other county schools, High Point and Kittatinny were listed next at 88th and 89th, respectively. Nearby Jefferson and Roxbury were ranked 211th and 93rd, respectively.

To see the full list of schools, click here.

Rich Smith August 23, 2012 at 09:20 PM
Michele, Your response “ Ziggy--I agree more blame should be placed on the High School students than the teachers……” Was really well thought out and well written. Not having children in the school system I guess it really isn’t much of my business either way. However: Our Kids are the future of or town and our country ( Forgive the corn.) and this issue is vitally important to everyone. There are so many facets to the problems of education, as you point out, and the BOE has a key role in address and correcting these problems. From what I have been reading, that “crony stranglehold” that you mentioned has set in and should be the first step in getting the schools on track. I do believe it starts at home. Parents have a twofold obligation: First to encourage kids to do well in school. Second, to get involved in the running of the system from helping with homework to back to school nights to attending BOE meetings. Parent or not, we should all get behind our kids education. Thank you.
Michele Guttenberger August 23, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Rich - Sometimes parents themselves did not have strong parent role models. We offer no guidance and support to parents to learn how to be good parents. We also need adult continuing education. There is none in Hopatocong. Dealing with a child with autism or ADD takes a toll on any adult person. Learning coping skills and developing better disipline skills is sometimes what is needed. But this is something that needs to be taught or passed down. Adults need further development too but we don't offer this in our society. In the old days you had an elder member -grandparent, aunt or uncle that was there to impart their wisdom's or support. This seems to have disappeared. Many families have lost this extended support where parenting knowledge is passed down. The reason some parents seem like bad parents is because they themselves did not have good role models to learn from and society does not feel responsible to educate the adult on these skills. Although I am not the biggest fan of Hillary Clinton, it is true that it takes a village to raise a child.
KristieKreme August 23, 2012 at 11:25 PM
I posted this link in response to another thread however after the off-topic banter above, I believe it's appropriate here as well. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3ZOKDmorj0
Michele Guttenberger August 23, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Kristie Kreme - I must say that was universal all Hopatcong Post appropriate. However, it did mention the the number one calamity in Hopatcong - the infestation of cretins. ;-)
Nucky Thompson August 23, 2012 at 11:47 PM
You're absolutely right Kristie, this thread is about how poorly our high school has been rated, down 89 places from 2010 in a field of about 325. The principal has been demoted (at the same $160K salary) to the Middle School. That should have happened two years ago when we were rated "almost average" at 200.
KristieKreme August 24, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Michelle, I was at the Windlass for lunch today with some friends. I asked for cretins on my Ceasar salad with lump crab cake (which was excellent btw). I received a courteous smile. I think she knew.
Michele Guttenberger August 24, 2012 at 01:14 AM
Kristie Kreme - the secret march against the cretins is spreading. Soon Caesar Salad will be spilt on the streets of Hopatcong and the Mayor will be losing her anchovies.
Michele Guttenberger August 24, 2012 at 05:40 AM
Sounds like you were involved mother in the Luciani Family's sports activities. If your sons were not on these teams would you have been a volunteer? Should we alert the press of your outstanding contributions to Borough of Hopatcong. Where would Hopatcong be today if not for your unselfish efforts in upholding the academic standards of our schools with its wrestling programs. I am super impressed. You definitely have what it takes to be a write-in candidate for Council. I am sure our town budget is very close to a Volleyball Marathon in many ways. You got the experience. You got my write-in vote Mrs Luciani.
Emily August 24, 2012 at 11:02 AM
it is a sad commentary for this town when what people have done for the young people of Hopatcong are stomped on for their efforts. What was just said includes an awful lot of parents in Hopatcong that put forth their time to make this town a better place. Yes I am VERY proud to have done what I did and if certain people find that unacceptable and make fun of it I feel very sorry for them. So if these people have no respect for this town and it's residents they should absolutley keep their opinions to themselves. They really lack substance. What they don't understand sports builds character and makes these young people stronger individuals. we have a living example of that . His name is Joe. So if certain people want to continue knocking the good people of this town so be it. They just make us believe they completley useless for this community and really have done nothing to make any improvements. I take my hat off to all parents who have made the sports programs in Hopatcong a success, I know how much time and work is put into it. It is all volunteer, but the rewards are priceless. We do this because we want to not because we have to. I stayed long after my children were out of the program. Look at what John Young has done for this town. If it wasn't for his dedication to the youth of this town where would we be. I know certain people don't understand that because they only know insults and snide remarks. To bad they don' tenjoy life. Missing out on alot!!!!
Rockon August 24, 2012 at 11:31 AM
Thanks Emily. Many people appreciate your efforts. Too bad the critics weren't around to witness the hard work of the volunteers.
Emily August 24, 2012 at 12:01 PM
Thanks Rockon. I know your one of the good people. Believe me I enjoyed every minute of what I did. Made mistakes, but got through the rough spots like the rest of us. We worked together as a unit and saw possibilities become a reality. We were all in it for the same reason, the kids. Alot of them are all grown and married with children themselves . They remember what the parents did and I guess we did a good job because their children are now in those very programs. We are good people and proud of our accomplishments. Thanks again for your acknowledement.!!
Roll Back Our Tax August 24, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Hey Rock On...."and where do we go from here? Which is the way that's clear?" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-q_cq-qdYLI Please do tell us Mayor Petillo. Where do we go from here? Just had to throw that in....I promise...LAST POST on this article.
Red August 24, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Hopatcong is a town of "if onlies"... If only I had done better research 4 years ago before we moved to this town; if only we could sell our house for something close to what we paid for it; if only this town had a better school system, my husband and I wouldn't have to pay an extra $5000 on top of property taxes to have our child in a private school 4 towns away; if only there was a clear way out of this disaster. But I didn't do my extra research, and ethically I could never even dream of selling our house to someone with children, or even a young couple who might eventually have children because of the school system here. I love the neighborhood we live in, quiet and safe, but all I keep thinking of is if only.
genesko August 24, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Michele, I have to comment - Just the other day the Morris Hills flyer came for adult education. Is there anything in sussex cnty at all?? My son is a young adult with "mild" autism and ADD and we homeschooled him since 5th grade bc hopatcong could not give him an adequate education. Too smart for most out-of-district schools, but managing his behavior was out of our local educators' range of skill sets. Though legally we can give him his diploma, he's has done the work, at 22, he wants that social interaction (he's lonely!). So we are looking at doing the adult HS diploma program there. BUT out-of-school-disctrict is an additional THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS per semester for a 90 minute class 3x/week. As for Hopatcong HS -- my youngest has flaming ADD. She's a senior. She feels strongly that the school system failed her. They made it WAY too easy to become a lazy student in special ed classes. they teach to the lowest student and drag the higher performers down. Its like there needs to be more customizing. an IEP is BS. The kid rarely ever got better than a PP on anything but got A's & B's. Math at the HS level was a joke for her. She would tend to misbehave because she was frustrated with the other kids in the class. She wanted to be challenged. She wants to go to D2 or D3 college (sports are vital to her so county college is out). She felt unprepared for the SATs and landed just shy of the D2 NCAA standard. She has to pick up the slack now while her friends enjoy senior year.
The Watcher August 24, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Why RBOT RealBadOnTruth aka DINO Pezzino did he hit a nerve? Are you faking a disability?
Involved Hopatcong Mom August 24, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Lets get back on point. I think some of this information is skewed as quoted by the original article itself "Some of the biggest moves are fueled in part by New Jersey’s use of a new graduation-rate calculation. In the past, our rankings distinguished between students going on to four-year colleges, two-year colleges and other postsecondary schools. The data for students going to four-year colleges was given extra weight, making it a potent driver of the results. This year’s rankings use the new four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate, introduced by New Jersey in 2011, as mandated by the federal government." If the way the data is obtained has changed, then you are not comparing apples to apples. It just goes to show that data can be manipulated. Being from an area where salaries are lower, it makes sense that our chidren start their higher education at a community college level vs a 4 year college (more affordable) and that affects the ranking. That being said, I do believe that there is alot room for improvement. But it is on all fronts, not just the BOE. There seems to be an general "its everyone else's fault" attitude that is hard to get away from. Education starts with the parents and then goes up. I have always found that the more involved the parent is, the better the quality of education. Another words, you get what you put into it. Going to the BOE meetings is the first step, and we need to keep going up from there.
Emily August 24, 2012 at 04:47 PM
I can only hope that when Dr. M leaves, we hire someone who has the desire and most of all the ability to bring Hopatcong schools back to where they should be and once were. It can be done. We vote on everything else mayor, council, board of education tell me why not the superintendent of schools. we leave it up to the board, and we know what they are capable of doing. This is such an important decision that affects all of us especially our children. Give us a voice. If Only!!!!!!
Michele Guttenberger August 24, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Dear Mrs Luciani - I have to agree with you that John Young is a very unselfish and ethical Councilman. In all my investigative research of our council members and the Mayor, I have not see any political or business opportunity gained from his volunteer involvement. John Young is a man of pure civic duty. I hope his name is never tarnished by party association. He is the ethical standard of what we should expect from our elected officials. Now if we had a continuing adult ed program in Hopatcong he could conduct the course on Moral and Ethical standards in our Local Government and I would insist that the Mayor attend it. We also have some great volunteers in our town, but only the ones that are political favorites of current political regime in office get to be spotlighted by the Mayor. And I disagree with you that Sports has helped the Town of Hopatcong achieve greatness. It may have given the Town good publicity, but did not help the Town achieve higher academic standards. Also, these sports programs only serve a handful of students in our town and has been used as a bargaining chip by every Superintendent when negotiating budget cuts. We kept these sports programs in place that benefited the few and cut the academic, arts and cultural programs that benefited the many. How many parents must pay out of their own pocket for dance & Karate lessons that are not offered at HHS and not promoted by the BOE as a must have in our schools?
james August 24, 2012 at 05:27 PM
How many local high schools offer dance and karate?
The Watcher August 24, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Emily, I don't believe I've read anything bashing you for your volunteer efforts, but I could be wrong. I do however find some of your posts unnerving. You label people who you perceive to support the sports programs in town as "the good people" and assume people who question, or state their opinions as, "having no respect for the town and it's residents they should absolutely keep their opinions to themselves. They lack substance" To me this presents YOU as a judgmental person, who perceives her opinion as the right one, and is unwilling to accept, understand, or tolerate the right of others to have and express a different opinion. I do hope that this is not the way you spoke when you were volunteering I would not like to think you presented your opinion to the students as "hurray for the football team and who cares if they cut the band program". To me the goal of sports programs should be teaching working as a team, self-confidence, acceptance, and tolerance (including individuals strengths and weaknesses). Kudos for your volunteering, but after reading some your (in my opinion) judgmental and name calling posts I am now questioning how you were seen as a role model for the students. I guess this makes me one of the "bad people" for stating my opinion.
Observer August 24, 2012 at 06:50 PM
If all NJ public high schools included in the recent survey were subject to the same evaulative rubric then how can the results be skewed? If anything, maybe we were ranked too high in past years. I think we all realize that this evaluation was not the work of NJDOE, although much of their data were probably used, but rather an independent organization. No excuses, the results were appalling, embarrassing, and did nothing to help already depressed real estate values.
Emily August 24, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Watcher , That was a response to the person that directed something at myself and my family. Unnerving, I don't think so. the truth. If that's how you took what I wrote as an insult toyou I am sorry. I was respected by them. in fact I see alot of them now and I am greeted with smiles ,hugs and talk about the good times and the fun we had. Those comments were in response to the attack on me , this is how she communicates with people who don't agree with her. That' sad. I am not going to stand by and let someone attack my family like she does.You would not allow that to happen to your family. No one is saying my opinion is the only one, that's saved for that person finds rhe need to insult.. As far as the band goes. I was on the phone with a board member about them cutting them ,constantly. Nothing should be cut .. When it comes to the kids in the town there isn't anything I would not do. that's because I understand what an up hill battle it can be. I know sometimes I can be very strong with my opinions I am not forcing them on you or anyone else. It seems everyone on patch has an opinion and suggestion as to how to do things that doesn't make them judgemental does it. when I say in my opinion that means thats what I think not what I expect other people to think. That was directed at the person who keeps putting Hopatcong down. This is where I live and raised my family and I like it here.Please except my apology Watcher. Have a good week-end
Emily August 24, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Watcher, Just realized something. I really need to take a break from Patch. I think a week should do it. Last week of vacation sounds good to me. I am sure we will be on to something new with opionions and suggestions. Maybe by then I may decide not to come back at all. What I noticed is nothing really gets solved. we just keep going back and forth. I guess that's what makes the world go round. Hey want to go round and round with the presidential election. That would make for some interesting reading. Now that's real politics and we can't solve those issues except maybe with our vote. But to whose liking!!!! Bye for awhile or forever, not sure yet.
Involved Hopatcong Mom August 24, 2012 at 07:25 PM
The criteria is different from last year's criteria, therefore you are not comparing the same thing from year to year. The article actually mentions some of the changes and points it out. A four year college carries more weight than a 2 year, etc. "Some of the biggest moves are fueled in part by New Jersey’s use of a new graduation-rate calculation. In the past, our rankings distinguished between students going on to four-year colleges, two-year colleges and other postsecondary schools. The data for students going to four-year colleges was given extra weight, making it a potent driver of the results. This year’s rankings use the new four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate, introduced by New Jersey in 2011, as mandated by the federal government." And there is always room for improvement, but to achieve that, we need more people who are actually involved and voting. The last time I had to wait in line to vote was when the sewers were put in. When kids see that their parents care, they care.
Abe Lincoln August 26, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Gee, what happened to Randy RBOT?
bob August 26, 2012 at 05:20 PM
We have too many slow kids compared to other towns. We have a huge low income population. More disabled kids. Not a true representation is shown of our population in the ranking sysytem
KristieKreme August 26, 2012 at 10:36 PM
In a nutshell, a multi-faceted nutshell!
Abe Lincoln August 26, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Bob We have too many slow kids compared to other towns. Prove it
Michele Guttenberger August 27, 2012 at 12:58 AM
Disgusted - I do agree with you that we should at least give the new superintendent a chance before we pass judgement. Hopefully she will realize that she will need to be more focused and empathetic to the unique needs of Hopatcong or else face the same assault as Doc. M. I think anyone who walks into this position will soon find out that Hopatcong will have little tolerance for business as usual politics. But we must first give this person a chance without the prejudices that we carry from previous administrations. If we don't start with a clean slate and continue to carry our resentment baggage with us our schools are doomed to fail from the get-go. It is going to take teamwork , respect and input from parents, teachers, students and administrators and also the taxpayer to pull Hopatcong Schools back up. If we don't have a full team on board we will not achieve this. Doc M blamed the taxpayer for Hopatcong's woes. This put the taxpayer on the defensive and created an adversarial situation. We need someone to stop pointing fingers and star rolling up their sleeves. I'm crossing my fingers this new person is the answer.
Christine August 27, 2012 at 06:31 PM
test

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