When Dr. Walter Uszenski was appointed superintendent of the Brick Township school district in 2012, one of the first challenge areas he pledged to tackle in the district was the comparatively low number of Advanced Placement classes for township high school students who excelled.
AP classes – and those who complete them successfully – have become one cog in an ongoing statewide emphasis to rank school districts on the level of college readiness they convey to their students. The “readiness” issue previously penalized Brick in state rankings, but recently has been key to its much-improved rankings in analyses.
Indeed, Uszenski’s efforts have paid off, increasing the number of AP classes and the students who take them – to the point where both of the district’s high schools were placed on the College Board’s 2014 “Honor Roll,” on which just 35 New Jersey districts appeared.
“The accolades that come along, and the grants that we receive, are because of the excellence of our entire team,” Uszenski said at a school board meeting last week.
The “Honor Roll” list comprises school districts nationwide that “simultaneously achieved increases in access to Advanced Placement courses for a broader number of students and also maintained or improved the rate at which their AP students earned scores of 3 or higher on an AP Exam,” the College Board explained in a statement on the list.
Brick was the only Ocean County district to appear on the New Jersey list. Other districts included Bridgewater-Raritan, Freehold Regional, Glen Ridge, Hackensack, Lawrence and Park Ridge.