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New Jersey has courted controversy in the five years since the implementation of a new computerized statewide assessment test that is more difficult than the preceding test and has resulted in lower scores across the board. Despite the PARCC exam issue, many districts in the state have continued to flourish through high academic performance and vigorous athletic programs. Let’s take a look at the five best school districts in the Garden State. 

The best school district in New Jersey is Ridgewood Public Schools, made up of ten schools in the affluent village of Ridgewood. Students in the district graduate at a rate of 97% and RCS produced 10 National Merit Semifinalists in 2019.  

Livingston Public Schools is the 2nd best public school system in the state of New Jersey. The district consists of nine schools in the township of Livingston. LPS students demonstrate a high level of proficiency in math and RLA, and the district has produced its share of National Merit Semifinalists.

Earning the 3rd spot is Millburn Township Public Schools, a nationally-renowned district of eight schools serving around 5,000 students. A remarkable 99% of graduating Millburn High School seniors enroll in four-year colleges. 

Westfield Public Schools is the 4th best school district in the state of New Jersey. The district consists of 10 schools serving an enrollment of 6,214. Students of the district not only excel in academics but are highly active outside of the classroom: 80% of Westfield High School students participate in co-curricular activities. 

New Jersey’s 5th best school system is Bernards Township School District, which encompasses four elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school.  Over half of the district’s graduating seniors go on to attend “highly competitive” colleges.

Top School Districts in New Jersey, 2020

RankSchool DistrictCity
1Ridgewood Public School DistrictRidgewood
2Livingston Board Of Education School DistrictLivingston
3Millburn Township School DistrictMillburn
4Westfield Public School DistrictWestfield
5Bernards Township School DistrictBasking Ridge
6Hillsborough Township Public School DistrictHillsborough
7Parsippany-Troy Hills Township School DistrictParsippany
8Tenafly Public School DistrictTenafly
9Monroe Township School DistrictMonroe Township
10School District Of The ChathamsChatham
11Montgomery Township School DistrictSkillman
12Princeton Public SchoolsPrinceton
13Fair Lawn Public School DistrictFair Lawn
14Scotch Plains-Fanwood School DistrictScotch Plains
15Summit Public School DistrictSummit
16Mount Olive Township School DistrictFlanders
17Hopewell Valley Regional School DistrictPennington
18Holmdel Township School DistrictHolmdel
19South Orange-Maplewood School DistrictMaplewood
20Madison Public School DistrictMadison
21Randolph Township School DistrictRandolph
22Moorestown Township Public School DistrictMoorestown
23Mahwah Township Public School DistrictMahwah
24Montville Township School DistrictMontville
25Montclair Public School DistrictMontclair
26Fort Lee School DistrictFort Lee
27Sparta Township Public School DistrictSparta
28Ramsey School DistrictRamsey
29Piscataway Township School DistrictPiscataway
30West Morris Regional High School DistrictChester
31Glen Rock Public School DistrictGlen Rock
32Glen Ridge Public School DistrictGlen Ridge
33New Providence School DistrictNew Providence
34Lenape Regional High School DistrictShamong
35Egg Harbor Township School DistrictEgg Harbor Township
36Kinnelon School DistrictKinnelon
37Washington Township School DistrictSewell
38Berkeley Heights School DistrictBerkeley Heights
39Haddonfield School DistrictHaddonfield
40North Hunterdon-Voorhees Regional High School DistrictAnnandale
41River Dell Regional School DistrictRiver Edge
42Hunterdon Central Regional High School DistrictFlemington
43Northern Highlands Regional High School DistrictAllendale
44Cranford Public School DistrictCranford
45Township Of Union School DistrictUnion
46Pequannock Township School DistrictPompton Plains
47Bergenfield Borough School DistrictBergenfield
48Cresskill Public School DistrictCresskill
49Lodi School DistrictLodi
50Robbinsville Public SchoolsRobbinsville
51Westwood Regional School DistrictTownship Of Washington
52Dumont Public School DistrictDumont
53Somerset Hills Regional School DistrictBernardsville
54Nutley Public School DistrictNutley
55East Windsor Regional School DistrictHightstown
56Wall Township Public School DistrictWall
57Metuchen Public School DistrictMetuchen
58Morris School DistrictMorristown
59Franklin Township Public SchoolsSomerset
60West Essex Regional School DistrictNorth Caldwell
61Vernon Township School DistrictVernon
62Lawrence Township Public School DistrictLawrenceville
63Hanover Park Regional High School DistrictEast Hanover
64Hackensack School DistrictHackensack
65Bloomfield Township School DistrictBloomfield
66Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School DistrictAberdeen
67Verona Public School DistrictVerona
68Upper Freehold Regional School DistrictAllentown
69Roxbury Township School DistrictSuccasunna
70New Milford Public School DistrictNew Milford
71Hasbrouck Heights School DistrictHasbrouck Heights
72Township Of Ocean School DistrictOakhurst
73Pompton Lakes School DistrictPompton Lakes
74Sayreville School DistrictSayreville
75Caldwell-West Caldwell School DistrictWest Caldwell
76West Milford Township Public School DistrictWest Milford
77Kingsway Regional School DistrictWoolwich Twp.
78Clearview Regional High School DistrictMullica Hill
79Point Pleasant Beach School DistrictPoint Pleasant Beach
80Northern Burlington County Regional School DistrictColumbus
81Ocean City School DistrictOcean City
82Cinnaminson Township Public SchoolsCinnaminson
83South Plainfield School DistrictSouth Plainfield
84Waldwick School DistrictWaldwick
85Rutherford School DistrictRutherford
86Southern Regional School DistrictManahawkin
87Springfield Public School DistrictSpringfield
88Burlington Township School DistrictBurlington
89Monroe Township Public School DistrictWilliamstown
90Hazlet Township Public School DistrictHazlet
91Point Pleasant Borough School DistrictPoint Pleasant
92Jefferson Township Public School DistrictLake Hopatcong
93Leonia Public School DistrictLeonia
94Secaucus School DistrictSecaucus
95Emerson Public School DistrictEmerson
96Watchung Hills Regional High School DistrictWarren
97KearnyKearny
98Spotswood Public School DistrictSpotswood
99Clark Township Public School DistrictClark
100Deptford Township Public School DistrictDeptford

Methodology

The following variables contributed to the ranking: number of students (K-12), graduation rate, school funding per student, student to teacher ratio, percent of students scoring above proficient in standardized state Math test, percent of students scoring above proficient in standardized state Reading and Language test. Data from a total of 10,247 public school districts were used to compute a score for each school district. The following states were omitted due to lack of sufficient data: Hawaii, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Utah, and Virginia. Note that high schools in some states have their own independent districts.

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