Top 100 Best High Schools 2013 – Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School – Newsweek – 61/100
Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School
AVG SAT: 1730
AVG ACT: –
AVG AP SCORE:3
NEWSWEEK SCORE: 3.67
123 Coles St, Jersey City, NJ 07302, United States
Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School (often dubbed Academic previous to its dedication, or as McNair) is a Magnet public high school located at 123 Coles Street in Jersey City, in Hudson County, New Jersey. The school is named in memory of Dr. Ronald E. McNair, the astronaut and scientist who died in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. McNair is operated by the Jersey City Public Schools district. The principal is Edward Slattery and the vice principal is Alice Barone. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1979.
As of the 2010-11 school year, the school had an enrollment of 694 students and 43.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student-teacher ratio of 16.14:1.
The school offers a wide selection of Advanced Placement (AP) Courses, in addition to a standard curriculum that contains courses at the Honors level. 21 AP courses were offered in 2010, with 897 students taking exams and 83.8% of those taking the exams scoring 3 or higher, more than quadruple the statewide average. Most electives are regular, unweighted classes. From 2008 to 2010, 100% of the class has graduated and in 2010 a full 100% of the student body indicated that they planned to attend a four-year college, with many going to the top institutions of the country.
The school originally opened as Academic High School in 1976 on 70 Sip Avenue in Jersey City. The school also rented a space in a Ukrainian building on Bergen Avenue. The school’s name was also changed to honor the late astronaut in 1986. In 1997 the school moved to its new location on 123 Coles Street due to safety and spacing reasons.
Beginning in the 2004-05 school year, the incoming class size was increased from 140 students to 200.
In 2004, McNair Academic, the school’s library was renamed in honor of teacher Vincent Russo. In May 2009, McNair lost Dr. Sara Solberg, a teacher of English, French, Shakespeare, and Mythology. Thanks to Donald Delo, the school opened a new stage in the Winter of 2010 named ‘Sara’s Stage’ in her honor.
The school has been highly praised. Notable achievements include:
>During the 2008-09 school year, Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School was recognized with the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education, the highest award an American school can receive.
>In its 2013 report on “America’s Best High Schools", The Daily Beast ranked the school 61st in the nation among participating public high schools and 4th among schools in New Jersey.
>In the 2011 “Ranking America’s High Schools" issue by The Washington Post, the school was ranked 1st in New Jersey and 52nd nationwide.
>26th place in U.S. News & World Report’s November 29, 2007 issue listing the Best High Schools in the United States. McNair Academic High School was also named a Gold Medal School by U.S. News & World Report for making the Top 100 list.
>The school was ranked 85th in Newsweek’s 2009 ranking of the top 1,500 high schools in the United States and was the top ranked school in New Jersey, with 3.993 AP tests taken in 2008 per graduating senior and 80% of all graduating seniors passing at least one AP exam. The school was ranked 27th place in Newsweek’s May 22, 2007, issue listing the Top Public High Schools in the United States; the school was ranked in 83rd place in the 2006 survey and 15th in the 2005 rankings.
>The title of “Star School" during the 2004-05 school year by the New Jersey Department of Education—the highest honor that a New Jersey school can achieve.
>For the 2005-06 school year, the school was one of 22 schools statewide selected as Governor’s School of Excellence Winners, an award given to schools that have demonstrated significant improvement over the previous two academic years.
>The school was the 2nd-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 328 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine’s September 2012 cover story on the state’s “Top Public High Schools", after being ranked 2nd in 2010 out of 322 schools listed. The magazine ranked the school second in the state in its 2008 report. The school was ranked 1st in the magazine’s 2006 rankings out of 316 schools included across the state.
>On November 30, 2007, McNair Academic was featured on News 12 New Jersey having ranked among the top 100 public high schools in the country.
>Schooldigger.com ranked the school as one of 16 schools tied for first out of 381 public high schools statewide in its 2011 rankings (an increase of 236 positions from the 2010 rank) which were based on the combined percentage of students classified as proficient or above proficient on the language arts literacy (100.0%) and mathematics (100.0%) components of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA).