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Brick Deals With New Graduation Rate Rankings

See how Brick compares to neighboring districts

Brick's two high schools 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 yesterday.

The rankings showed had an 84.31 percent graduation rate and had an 89.74 percent graduation rate.

During the previous school year, which used the previous method, BTHS had a 95.1 percent graduation rate and BMHS had a 96.1 graduation rate.

Superintendent Walter Hrycenko said the new rankings only take into account students who graduate within a strict four-year period, meaning students who do not amass enough credits on time or special education students who can remain in school until the age of 21 are not counted among graduates.

The change in reporting especially affected Brick Township High School because of the number of special education classes that are based there that serve the entire district. BTHS ended up with the second-lowest graduation rate in Ocean County, next to Lakewood High School's 70.11 percent graduate rate.

"At Brick High School, we have our special education students who can be in school until they're 21," said Hrycenko. "We have a couple classes like that."

Hrycenko said some of the district's high school special education programs, such as verbal behavior classes, are only taught at BTHS, which shifts the graduation rate downward as more special needs students attend Old Brick instead of Memorial. Special education students who remain in the district longer than four years are never counted as actually having graduated.

"There are a lot of variables," Hrycenko said, including students who complete GEDs and those who graduate, albeit late.

Hrycenko said the district's block scheduling does give students a good opportunity to complete the required 130 credits in order to graduate, since it is actually possible to take 160 credits over a four year period.

"Students have an opportunity to make up classes during the year instead of the summer," Hrycenko said, increasing the likelihood they will graduate on time.

Statewide, graduation rates declined by about 9 percent, on average, under the new formula.

By The Numbers: Ocean County Graduation Rates, 2010-11 School Year

District District-Wide Graduation Rate Brick 87.39 percent Toms River 89.96 percent Lakewood 70.11 percent Point Pleasant Boro 92.39 percent Point Pleasant Beach 98.17 percent Lacey 90.77 percent Central Regional 88.48 percent Jackson 93.42 percent Manchester 89.18 percent Barnegat 89.19 percent Southern Regional 88.33 percent Pinelands Regional 86.72 percent Plumstead 96.84 percent
Mr. McMurphy May 03, 2012 at 12:33 PM
If this is Bricktucky, what is Pinelands? Pinelands High School is where the teachers and administrators have been caught buying and selling illegal presription pain killers in the school parking lot. How would you like to be in that district?
Lil'DragonMom May 03, 2012 at 01:06 PM
http://www.state.nj.us/education/news/2012/0501grad.htm It is the formula to come up with the number of graduates that is "strict". They will reformulate in the future to include the special ed graduates and those with IEPs. When those students are counted back into the equation, the graduation rate will rise again. "Although many students take more than 4 years to graduate from high school, the federal requirements do not allow the exclusion of students on a 5 or 6 year track, whether for special education students as indicated in their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or otherwise. In future years, the Department will be able to also calculate an extended-year graduation rate to help account for these students."
bths06 May 03, 2012 at 01:06 PM
To me this does seem a little weird in how they come up with the percentages. The reason I say this is look at BTHS they has a 95.1 last year and a 84.31 this year, BMHS had a 96.1 last year and a 89.74 this year. The point im getting at about how odd they are doing it now is if you look at Lakewood last year they had a 32.2 last year and this year is a 70.11. So before you start bashing the school district while some of it is needed since we do need changes some of it is not if you look at the whole picture and not just of our town.
JD May 03, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Quite frankly.... anything below 95% is unacceptable... and Brick is NOT the only school district below 95%.
Resident May 03, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Can't say that I disagree one bit.
Resident May 03, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Anything below 100% is unacceptable. So BTHS has 16 out of every 100 students not graduating? Times that by the true # of seniors, its appauling.
JasperRam May 03, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Must compare the % of special education students in each school. Since a district is required to educate them from age 3 - 21, why would they even be included in this count? We do not want to shortchange these kids; they must get the amount of schooling they are leagally entitled to. Does Brick attract more families with special needs because they provide good programs? Seems I read something like that when talking about the number of autistic children.
Mrgrumpass May 03, 2012 at 02:49 PM
America #1 not for long, unless we all get are butt and minds in gear. Now I am going to get mugged by the sports fixes everything (or get sports free ride to collage) and that all of our children are collage material, WRONG on both counts, we need to redirect organized sports funding to education and if Johnny and Janie don’t understand Algebra teach them how to balance a check book and create a household budget and what a mortgage is. The world is passing us by!
Mr. McMurphy May 03, 2012 at 03:22 PM
If all of the seniors graduated, the old run down bleachers would not be able to support the weight during graduation ceremonies. Once the new bleachers are installed, the school will start graduating more students. The BOE is just looking out for the safety of the students. .....just saying
Bone Doc May 03, 2012 at 03:47 PM
I pay taxes in Bricktucky but my children never used the Brick School System. The system is subpar at best. The ratings are a real disgrace however parents must be blamed also. I have attended some BOE Meetings and the parents that are raising these children should go back to school. Some of the elected members of the BOE should join them in this endeavor. Parents don't waste a brain sending your children to Brick High School make the sacrifice and send them to Point Beach HS, RBC, Or CBA.
Resident May 03, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Here's a thought parents, instead of putting all the blame on the schools, own your responsibility as a parent and have your kids study and do their homework instead of updated facebook, texting and playing playstation most of the time they are home......
JD May 03, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Resident... your right... but I thought 95% is realistic for Brick demographics... they just end up coming back to get their GED.
J.JONES May 03, 2012 at 08:03 PM
JEM-B May 03, 2012 at 08:05 PM
I am a graduate of "old" brick. I apologize for saying this, but I could careless about the quality of the bleachers or the color of paint on the walls. I care more about the quality of teaching and the amount of support the students are able to receive in regards to their education. Every high school teaches around the same curriculum, stating that because a student does not graduate is the school's fault is beyond ludacrious. A student at that time is old enough to CHOOSE whether or not they want to continue their education. Their home life and support system at home also has to do with whether or not a student in Graduates PERIOD. No matter if they live in Brick, Point Pleasant, Jackson, etc. I am a proud graduate of the Class of 2000 and I know many of the graduates move on to lead very productive, happy and successful lives. Look to the STUDENT and his/her family before you pass judgement on the school. The teachers I'm sure are doing the best they can.
DennyD May 03, 2012 at 08:16 PM
I heard our art department was second to none. Little wonder how well they put photos and pictures together.
Tyler D. May 03, 2012 at 08:35 PM
I agree 100%, I went to Brick Memorial about 10 years ago and I didn't think there was a problem with the teachers or the school system.
Joseph Woolston Brick May 03, 2012 at 09:45 PM
After studying the chart, I now understand why so many of my neighbors pay tuition and send their kids to Point Beach High School. It's a big sacrifice as the parents not only pay Brick's taxes, they also have to pay Point's tuition plus provide their kids own transportation to PBH. They all tell me it's well worth it!
Dragon Parent May 03, 2012 at 11:45 PM
The class of 2012 has a multitiude of very smart students -one of whom got accepted into Harvard. A lot of these kids have gotten offers from very good schools. How did the Brick school system fail these kids???? My daughter had offers from all 5 schools she applied to due to her high GPA and way higher than average SAT's!!! This school system has not failed my student. The BOE needs to allow funds that are allocated from the state be appotioned to BTHS to repair and improve to give the students a better, healthiere environment in which to learn. Like Mr McMurphy just saying! Brick Memorial gets new stadium seating before trhe way more pressing projects requires at Old Brick? Why? Can someone explain this? Sounds somewhat corrupt an a little bias to me. The BOE needs to be scrutinized with its decisons and reasoning.
Dragon Parent May 03, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Go speak to the Principal of BTHSand undertabd the level of his commitment and caring to the school. He works tirelessly to try to get the improvements needed and gets shot down by the BOE. Thats where the problem lies.
Fred May 04, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Bravo, you hit the nail on the head. Parents have to carry the ball on this one. It's so easy to blame everyone else. In most cases, poor parenting equals poor performance.
Seen Enough May 04, 2012 at 02:20 AM
Dragon Parent, congratulations to your daughter. I have to ask are you a graduate of Brick High school?
Hope May 04, 2012 at 02:51 AM
although this report may seem a little dismal, I'd just like to let you know it isn't all bad. A student graduating from Memorial this year will be attending Princeton University in the fall, and another from Memorial will be going to Johns Hopkins. So although major improvements are needed, it is still possible to get a good education and have a successful future in Brick public schools.
BT Parent May 04, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Let us not blame the school district alone. Graduation rates are part of a culture. Education is the responsibility of the family and the schools, not the schools alone. I do not understand why we in this country feel that when our kids leave for school in the morning that all responsibility for them falls to the school district.
Terrence Brown May 04, 2012 at 02:26 PM
I am fairly certain that, when our superintendent used the word, "strict", he meant that the state's new graduation statistics have no room for alternate interpretations. The actual facts haven't changed that much. I have known both Principal Filippone, and Superindendent Hrycenko for many years and, make no mistake, NO ONE cares more about the educational welfare of our students than these two men. They are among the best things our system has to offer. We should be extremely proud of them!
DragonMom May 04, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Ive lived in Brick for over 10 years & find that very offensive .... There are very few People that where born And raised here, MOST have moved from Monmouth Cnty. Or even more North Jersey. I dont know about you, But I love living in one of the savest cities/ the problem is is with the schools as many ... the teach to pass state test Not for a full education.
DragonMom May 04, 2012 at 03:46 PM
BTW I grew up in a much smaller town with MUCH less funds, Our High School while it was very simple, NEVER looked like the deplorable conditions & (unsafe) as "old" Brick. SHAME SHAME SHAME on any administrator making 100,000$ or more ... hope you sleep well at night knowing that the kids dont have basics in the school ( books, sinks in labs, art tables falling apart, single pain windows so that its extemly cold or hot, maybe soap or paper towels in the bathrooms, not to mention accessable handicap bathrooms. walls falling down exposed wiring, plumbing, leaking ceilings etc Just A FEW examples of what I saw... Again SHAME on those that are collecting high paychecks & pentions with the funds not going to the Children.(( & yes I vote for the budget every year but really wondering where that $$ is going))
shore family May 04, 2012 at 05:32 PM
When our citizens voted to save the garbage collection and police instead with a substantial tax increase (which it seems we now didn't have to do) but not a small increase to help out the schools (which I recall was approxmiately a $50 per household and we sorely DO need), well here is your immediate statistic. I can only remember one time in the past several years that we've passed an increase in taxes to help out the schools. Getting grants by the state helps but obviously this isn't enough. Our kids went to Brick schools but now we pay to send our kids out of Brick. I wouldn't generalize and say those teachers are any better than Brick teachers, as in all districts, I believe there are great teaches and mediocre ones. The difference is the facility and the educational services offered are better. Brick citizens need to get with it. You can't expect our schools to continue to get better if we don't put money into improving them. Yes, the other problem is having a qualified BOE, but so far at this point, i'm impressed that they've managed to work out a budget with the help of state aid and grants for our schools because our own citizens won't help. Of course it's going to cost more to update sorely outdated educational/facility/equipment needs. And for those of you who think you're entitled to not help out the schools because you don't have kids attending, good luck in trying to sell your house for more than it's worth if these statistics keep getting worse.
Jason Kone May 05, 2012 at 03:17 AM
I graduated BMHS in 01 & am now have a PhD, but outside of attending HS in Camden or Asbury Park, I don't think I could have been worse prepared for higher education. The amount of AP & college prep classes offered is sickening, and the strive for nothing more than mediocrity is ubiquitous throughout the entire system I was in where I had to put in minimal work for straight A's & honor roll. It wasn't until I took the PSATs and received a 1020 that I realized how terribly educated I was. Luckily this gave me enough time to buy a Kaplan book and study on my own to get the SAT score of 1410 sufficient to get into the school of my choice. I had a dozen or so friends in my college program that went to HS's in PA/MD for example that served towns of 1k-5k people with 5 times more AP & college prep classes. I felt at such a disadvantage, that if it wasn't for my family's support I might have changed majors, because I honestly felt I wasn't worthy of the PhD science program I entered. The fact that a middle class, beautiful, safe, and relatively well-funded township like Brick could be this bad in education has made me really consider getting involved in township school politics. Too bad, since I'm totally unconnected, I doubt I would even be considered.
David Fischer May 15, 2012 at 02:36 PM
A 4-year Graduation rate statistic is not an indication of the quality of education in any district. If a student has special needs, they usually stay until 20 or 21years old (state law says they can), if you have Non-English speaking students, they usually go more than 4-years. These types of students skew the 4-year numbers. Some are taken out for home-schooling or move into a private school and these students are not considered graduates so that also skews the number. To make this statistic more accurate, you have to reveal the number of the students who do not fill the mold that allows for a 4-year stint in High School.
JD May 15, 2012 at 02:46 PM
David Fischer... Thank Goodness you are NOT on the BOE if that is your position! Also, it appears you don't fully understand how it is calculated based upon your comment on Homeschool and private school students.


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