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For Release: February 6, 2008


2007 Statewide Scoring Summaries:
Overall Improvement and Significant Gains in Some Areas

The 2007 assessment results for the grades 3-8 and high school state tests show that New Jersey students continue to make steady progress in terms of academic achievement and that there have been noteworthy improvements in the performance of some subgroups of students, particularly in the elementary grades, Education Commissioner Lucille E. Davy announced today.

DOE made the 2007 state, district and school level assessment results available to the public today on the department’s website.  The information can be accessed here: http://www.nj.gov/education/schools/achievement/2008/

The statewide summaries provide an annual snapshot of how well various student populations are faring on the state standardized tests.  This was the second year in which New Jersey met full NCLB mandates for testing math and Language Arts Literacy (LAL) in grades 3-8 and in high school.  It was the first year that science tests were administered at three grade levels.

The scoring scale for all grade tests is 100-300.  Students achieving a score of 200 are deemed proficient; students achieving a score of 250 or greater are deemed advanced proficient.

“In general, we see continued strong performance by New Jersey students,” the Commissioner said.  “This clear evidence that the department’s intense focus on accountability and its work with local districts on the important elements that enhance teaching and learning in our schools is having an impact."

Commissioner Davy said she was particularly encouraged by the narrowing of achievement gaps in some of the lower grades and the improved performance of Special Education (SE) and Limited English Proficient (LEP) students at many grade levels.

“The results also indicate that initiatives such as preschool for at-risk three- and four-year-olds, elementary and middle school literacy and increased supports for students with disabilities do make a real difference,” Commissioner Davy said.  “While there is still much to be done, the fact that these scores are moving in the right direction is very good news.”

Among the other findings:

  • In grades 3-5, the scores for the total population showed modest improvements over 2006.  However, SE students show continued improvement in grade 4 mathematics, and a comparison between 1999 grade 4 math scores for Hispanic and African American students and the 2007 scores for these same subgroups shows a significant increase and a notable narrowing of the achievement gap.
  • Notable overall progress has been made in grade 4 math and science.  The math mean scale score increased from 217.3 in 1999 to 234.1 in 2007, and the number of students scoring advanced proficient increased from 25.2 percent in 1999 to 41 percent in 2007.  In grade 4 science, the mean score increased from 224.2 in 2005 to 231.3 in 2007. 
  • 2006 was the first year in which grade 5-7 tests were administered, and overall scores increased this year.  Grade 5 SE and LEP students made significant gains in just one year:  The SE LAL score rose by 5.7 percentage points in one year.  The SE math mean score increased by 5.8 percentage points.  The LEP LAL performance increased by 7.7 percentage points and the LEP math score increased by 7.5 points.
  • Grade 6 students improved notably in math, from 70.8 percent proficient or above to 79 percent proficient or above.  Grade 6 SE students’ performance improved by 13.4 points over 2006 and the grade 6 LEP performance increased by 17.3 points.
  • Grade 8 LAL performance remains flat, both from last year to this year and from 1999 to 2007.    However, the grade 8 math performance has increased by almost 12 percentage points from 2003 to 2007.
  • While improvements in the high school scores from 2006 to 2007 were modest, the overall trend since 2002 has been a steady rise in both content areas, from 81.1 percent proficient or above in LAL in 2002 to 85.3 percent in 2007.  In math, the percentage of students scoring proficient rose from 68.6 percent in 2002 to 73.4 percent in 2007.