Citizens for Better Schools (“CBS”) were disappointed this week to read U.S. News & World Report’s just-released rankings of the 22,000 public high schools in the United States. Mendham High School is ranked 632nd nationally, only 33rd in New Jersey.
Mendham High School is ranked below nearby Chatham (7th), Ridge (8th), Millburn (12th), Mountain Lakes (22nd), Summit (25th), Madison (29th), New Providence (31st), andLivingston (32nd), among other NJ high schools.
U.S. News’ ranking, which factors in Mendham High School’s highly touted International Baccalaureate program, is the latest in a string of disappointing independent assessments of our high school’s performance. U.S. News’ ranking methodology, perhaps the most comprehensive and widely respected is described here:
Monmouth University ranks Mendham High School 26th in New Jersey, down from 4th in 2002. New Jersey Department of Education SAT data shows Mendham High School students score near the bottom, 10th out of 13, of New Jersey high schools located in “J” communities, the state’s socioeconomic designation for the Mendhams and Chesters.
The Washington Township majority on the school board that has controlled the West Morris Regional High School District for the past twenty years has been an exceptionally poor steward of our community asset, Mendham High School. That poor stewardship compounded by the $6 million+ annual tax subsidy transferred to West Morris Central High School in turn have adversely affected our children's education.
It's time for the parents and taxpayers of the Mendhams and Chesters to have a say in how their children are educated and their tax dollars are spent.
CBS calls on our elected representatives to stop dismissing residents’ concerns about Mendham High School’s quality. Ignoring independent comparative assessments of the facts will not reverse the decline of Mendham High School. Objective evaluation of Mendham High School’s educational quality and cost leads to one conclusion. Fundamental structural change of our district is required. We can do better!