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May 8, 2014

New Jersey high school seniors tied for first with four other states, out of 12, in a pilot test of the 2013 National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP). The test, sometimes called the “nation’s report card” because it is uniformly administered from state to state, measures student performance in math and reading.

NAEP set a score of 302 for what it considers to be academically prepared for college in terms of language arts. New Jersey scored an average of 292, placing it fourth. New Jersey also scored higher than it did in 2009, the last time the evaluation was administered to samples of students.

Only 33 percent of students were considered “proficient” or college-ready in mathematics in New Jersey but that was high enough to score second among the states participating in the study.

Nevertheless, the achievement gap in New Jersey remains severe, while narrowing slightly since 2009. The gap in mathematics between higher-performing high school seniors (those in the 75th percentile) and lower-performing students (those in the 25th percentile) was 47 points. The gap was even greater in reading -- 49 points, compared with 53 points in 2009.

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