followed a statewide trend this year: lower graduation rates thanks to a new type of ranking system.
The new formula for calculating the graduation rate of high school students changed this year statewide, as New Jersey adopted a federal standard, which calculates how many students graduate within a four-year period.
The new method was used in calculating graduation rates for the 2010-11 school year, which were released by the state Department of Education earlier this week.
The rankings showed Lacey Township School District has the fifth highest graduation rate in the county at 90.77.
During the previous school year, which used a different method, LTHS had a 94.00 percent graduation rate.
Statewide, graduation rates declined by about 9 percent, on average, under the new formula. The statewide graduation rate is 83 percent.
Comparisons to previous years cannot be made since a new methodology is being utilized, the state said.
“As we look at these new graduation rates across the state, the question we must continue to ask ourselves is not only whether students are graduating from high school, but whether we are truly preparing them to be ready for the demands of the 21st century," said Acting Commissioner Chris Cerf.
The results reinforce the need for new assessments to not only increase graduates but to prepare students for college and careers, he said.
“We should approach these results with both confidence and humility – we continue to be among the leaders in the nation, but we can still do more to make sure every child, regardless of zip code, has an equal opportunity in life,” Cerf said.
Superintendent Dr. Sandra Brower and Board of Education President Jack Martenak did not return calls for comment.
By The Numbers: Ocean County Graduation Rates, 2010-11 School Year
District-Wide Graduation Rate
Point Pleasant Boro
Point Pleasant Beach