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New School Report Cards Measure More Than Just the ABCs of Student Performance

John Mooney | February 7, 2013

By digging deeper into data, School Performance Reports can analyze and compare grades and progress for students statewide.

New Jersey’s school report cards are still a month away, but planning is well along for changes in what data will be reported to the public and how it will be presented. A significant makeover is also in the works.

Not everything about this year's School Performance Reports will be new. Familiar -- and useful -- information like student performance on state tests, enrollment, and spending will still be available.

But a host of new data will make it possible to create snapshots of different levels of student performance, said state officials in an update provided the State Board of Education yesterday.

For the first time, the public will get a look at the state’s new “student growth percentile” (SGP), a statistical model that makes it possible to track a student's annual progress and evaluate state test scores against comparable students statewide.

The new reports will also include data about how students perform on the state’s fledgling high-school biology test (as well as other exams). School-by-school test results have never been reported before.

Officials also said that School Performance Report will list how many students received a C or higher in Algebra I, a lead-up to a state-administered Algebra I test that will be phased in over the next few years.

This year's reports will also feature data about how public school students fare once they leave high school, including their performance in college.

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