New Jersey’s pre-K through 12th grade public schools have been named the best in the nation by U.S. News and World Report in an annual survey released in early March 2021.
The ranking was based on factors including preschool enrollment, high school graduation rates and college tuition cost. New Jersey’s public high school graduation rate is 90 percent.
“We are incredibly proud of our public schools and of the NEJA members who go above and beyond every day to make them the best in the nation,” said NJEA President Marie Blistan. “There are no better educators anywhere in the world, and every New Jersey resident benefits from our great public schools.”
“It is always impressive to earn a top ranking, but to earn it this year, in the midst of a global pandemic, is especially rewarding,” said NJEA Vice President Sean M. Spiller. “It’s a recognition that our members have not let anything get in the way of providing their students with a world-class education.”
“We are thrilled to get this recognition for our schools, and it only motivates us to do more and reach higher,” said NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Steve Beatty. “This year has reinforced how important school is to our students and our communities, and we are proud to do our part to help New Jersey make it through this pandemic and emerge even stronger on the other side.”
The magazine also evaluated New Jersey’s higher education institutions which ranked 27th in the nation. While more than 47 percent of New Jersey residents have a college diploma, the state’s average college debt is higher than the national average.
These findings provide more evidence that New Jersey must continue to expand its investment in higher education and work to find solutions to make college and continuing education programs more affordable.