• The Montgomery News

MHS Ranks as the Fifth Best Public School in NJ for STEM, and the 58th Best in the USA

By Rikki N. Massand


The popular U.S. News & World Report rankings of the best high schools for 2020 were released on April 21. Montgomery High School (MHS) ranked as the 22nd best “overall” high school in New Jersey, and as the 525th best nationwide.


MHS ranked even higher — as an elite top science, technology, engineering, and math school, according to U.S. News & World Report. Of the 451 high schools in NJ, MHS ranked as the fifth best school for STEM. Out of more than 24,000 school nationwide, MHS ranked as the 58th best school in the US for STEM.


Students in a science class.

Criteria Used

The 2020 U.S. News & World Report public schools rankings are based on data from school year 2018-2019.

MHS trailed several of its rivals in the “overall” rankings.

West Windsor-Plainsboro North ranked 14 in the state; just ahead of No. 15 Princeton. West Windsor-Plainsboro South ranked No. 20 in the Garden State, with Ridge High School at 21, and Montgomery at 22.



National STEM ranking for high schools was available to the top 1,000 public high schools with a curriculum of college-level math and science courses.


The College Board defines college-level STEM courses as: AP courses in calculus AB, calculus BC, computer science principles, computer science A, and statistics.


Science courses include AP-level biology, chemistry, environmental science, physics 1, physics 2, physics B, physics C: electricity and magnetism, and physics C: mechanics.


U.S. News & World Report calculated a STEM Achievement Index for each of the top 1,000 schools nationwide based on the percentage of all the AP test-takers in the 2018 graduating class who took and passed college-level AP STEM math and AP STEM science tests.

AP Course Comparison

AP course participation at MHS was marked. Of the 1,618 students enrolled, at least 68 percent took at least one AP exam and 64 percent of students passed at least one AP exam.

At Princeton High School with its enrollment of 1,605 students, 81 percent of its students took at least one AP exam and 75 percent of students passed at least one AP exam.

At WW-P High School South (enrollment 1,600) 70 percent of students took at least one AP exam and 65 percent passed at least one AP exam.

Overall Data

Montgomery’s graduation rate was 98 percent. Reading proficiency at MHS was 73 percent. Mathematics proficiency was 67 percent.


Princeton HS had a 96 percent graduation rate with reading proficiency of 76 percent and mathematics proficiency at just 49 percent.


WW-P South (1,600 students), one of two high schools in the West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District, had a 98 percent graduation rate with reading proficiency of 80 percent and mathematics proficiency at 65 percent.


WW-P North had a 98 percent graduation rate with reading proficiency of 79 percent and mathematics proficiency at 65 percent.


Reported with the school ranking, MHS had 117 full-time teachers, and 53 percent of students were minorities: 47 percent Caucasian; 44 percent Asian American; three percent African American; five percent Latino; and one percent multi-racial (based on statistics reported to the government). Four percent of MHS students were economically disadvantaged. ■

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