Dear Parents and Guardians,
Following this letter, please find a summary overview of the New Jersey Department of Education Performance Report for your child’s school.
The new School Performance Reports build upon and replace the previous annual School Report Cards and provide schools and the public with information about school performance in the 2011-2012 school year. These reports, as outlined in New Jersey's NCLB flexibility request, were developed with the input of stakeholders across the state in both informal conversations and through a workgroup that included representatives from the NJEA, New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association (NJPSA), New Jersey Association of School Administrators (NJASA), New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) and the New Jersey Parent Teacher Association (NJPTA). As compared to the former School Report Cards, these reports provide a significant amount of new data in order to present a more complete picture of school performance, with the ultimate aim of helping schools and stakeholders engage in local goal setting and improvement. Among others, this includes metrics at all grade levels to identify the extent to which students are demonstrating skills and behaviors indicative of college and career readiness.
In addition, the reports include for the first time a "peer school comparison" for each school in the state. This tool replaces the outdated and often inaccurate District Factor Group (DFG), and compares schools with similar grade configurations that are educating students with similar demographic characteristics such as free/reduced lunch eligibility, limited English proficiency or special education program participation. This data provides information about how similar schools are performing to help identify strengths and areas for improvement. Together with additional data available in NJSMART, we hope that this publication provides the opportunity to have meaningful conversations around goal setting at the school and district level for the coming year.
For the first time, the Performance Reports include data on whether students are on track for college and career including the percentage of students chronically absent, students taking at least one AP test, and the percentage of students taking the SAT and PSAT. Measures of student growth are also included for the first time, utilizing the Student Growth Percentile (SGP) methodology. SGP creates a measure of how students progressed in grades 4 through 8 on the NJASK language arts literacy and math assessments when compared to other students with a similar NJASK test score history. A short video explaining the SGP methodology can be found here: http://www.state.nj.us/education/njsmart/performance.
As educators have long stated, looking at proficiency levels alone do not provide a complete picture of school performance because students and schools all begin at different starting points. By partnering that proficiency data with growth information, these new reports can help educators identify where, for example, students are demonstrating low proficiency but high growth, or, conversely, high proficiency but low growth.
The school performance reports will be released to the public in the coming weeks.
This school's academic performance is very high when compared to schools across the state. Additionally, its academic performance is very high when compared to its [DFG] peers… This school's student growth performance is very high when compared to schools across the state. Additionally, its student growth performance is very high when compared to its peers.”
Thanks to the Fort Lee Education Foundation for sponsoring this outstanding assembly.
DonorsChoose.org is a free nonprofit website where teachers at any school can receive funding for student resources.
Congratulations to Mr. Mendoza for fostering an environment where teachers go above and beyond for their students.