Latest School Performance Reports Put ACT/SAT Results in Perspective

John Mooney | April 5, 2017 | Education
Reports, released yesterday, continue to stress dynamic growth over static snapshots

New Jersey has long tinkered — politically and logistically — with how it grades its public schools: from its once-popular School Report Cards that went home in backpacks to its own internal monitoring systems.

With the latest School Performance Reports released yesterday come more changes, reflecting the state’s continued focus on measuring growth rather than on taking static snapshots, officials said.

New categories have been added, including the results from both ACT and SAT college entrance exams in the high school reports, rather than just the SAT. The ACT has become increasingly a test of choice in New Jersey and nationwide.

Follow this link to see your high school’s ACT/SAT scores.

The reports also include new categories for faculty attendance and chronic student absenteeism for high schools. The latter was previously only available in the elementary school reports.

SAT, ACT and PSAT Performance 2015-16
SAT, ACT and PSAT Performance 2015-16

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The new reports also emphasize how schools are progressing — or not — in student achievement and other measures. This goes along with planned changes to the state’s internal monitoring under both New Jersey and federal rules.

Gone is the report’s controversial comparison with peer schools, a measure that drew concerns and questions from education leaders from the start. The practice began early in Gov. Chris Christie’s first term, ranking schools against those of comparable size and socio-economic class. But questions persisted about the methodology, and the comparisons never proved popular.

Follow this link to view the full reports on the state’s website.

“The school performance reports are designed to inform and empower students, parents, and school communities, not only to celebrate areas of success, but also to highlight areas in need of improvement,” acting Education Commissioner Kimberley Harrington said yesterday.

The state is asking for feedback on the new reports via a public survey.