New Jersey scored the second best in the nation in K-12 achievement in “Quality Counts 2011,” Education Week magazine’s annual report card of states.
While New Jersey fared well when compared to other states in academic achievement, the report overall gave fair grades to individual states and the nation as a whole.
Quality Counts provided an overall grade for each state, based on six indicies ranging from teaching and achievement to standards and school finances. Maryland scored highest with a B+ grade, and New Jersey rated seventh best overall, with a B- grade. The overall national average was a grade of C.
The six areas measured in the Quality Counts report included:
- Students’ chance for success: New Jersey was rated third in the nation, with a grade of A-. Massachusetts and Connecticut scored higher.
- K-12 achievement: New Jersey ranked second in the nation, with a B- grade, behind Massachusetts. (No state received an A, and the average grade was a D+.)
- Standards, assessment and accountability: New Jersey tied for 43rd in the nation, receiving a grade of C.
- Transitions and alignments: New Jersey was rated 22nd in the nation, receiving a C+.
- Teaching profession: New Jersey was rated 30th with a C-.
- School finance: New Jersey was third in the nation, with a B+ grade, behind Wyoming and Rhode Island.
The “chance for success” index addressed the importance of education in a person’s lifetime from school to college to career. It analyzed 13 separate indicators, such as early childhood preparation, public school performance, and educational and economic outcomes in adulthood.
Part of the data used to create the Quality Counts report came from the National Assessment for Educational Progress, or NAEP, often called the “Nation’s Report Card.” New Jersey students typically perform well in the NAEP, scoring among the top handful of states in reading, math and writing scores.