The state’s School Performance Reports for 2013-2014, a school-by-school collection of student test scores, demographic data and other information, have been released by the state Department of Education.
New this year is a measure of the percentage of New Jersey high school students who participate in Career and Technical Education – approximately 19 percent statewide.
Other newer data points, which were added to the reports as they were revised several years ago, are the percentage of students who score above 1,550 on their SATs, a score considered a predictor of college success; the percentage who have completed at least one full year of college, 16 months after high school graduation; and the percentage of chronically absent students.
The idea is to provide residents with a tool to see performance in the state’s schools, which are consistently ranked among the strongest in the nation, said New Jersey Education Commissioner David C. Hespe.
“Each year the School Performance Reports present information designed to give local residents a more complete snapshot of where their schools stand in terms of how well their students are moving toward college and career readiness,” Hespe said. “The extensive amounts of information in the reports also provides citizens and parents with meaningful data with which to judge how well their schools are doing in educating their children.”
The measure of Career and Technical Education was included for the first time as the result of a new law signed by Gov. Chris Christie less than two months ago. Career and Technical Education provides students with opportunities to attain academic and technical skills that will help prepare them for careers.
The reports include a color-coded guide to help readers see whether schools met individual or statewide targets in specific areas. Also included in the reports are “peer school comparisons,” which allow parents and others to compare school performance with that of schools with similar demographic characteristics, such as limited English proficiency; eligibility for free and reduced lunch, which is considered a measure of family income levels; and participation in special education programming.
The reports are available online at http://education.state.nj.us/pr/.