Vision and Purpose
The Department of Education's NJ Standards Measurement and Resource for Teaching (NJ SMART) is a comprehensive statewide longitudinal data system solution that serves multiple purposes: staff/student identification, data warehousing, data reporting, and analytics.
NJ SMART was initiated several years ago for three primary reasons:
- New Jersey's public education system is actively invested in developing evidence based practices and solutions that measure and monitor progress towards instructional goals.
- Major regulatory changes such as the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) have increased the need for states and districts to collect larger quantities and types of data to meet increasingly intensive reporting requirements.
- NJDOE is committed to using technology as a means for: providing better information to LEAs and other stakeholders; for simplifying complicated data reporting requirements; and for increasing administrative efficiency.
These reasons culminated into today's solution designed to provide data quality and capacity needed to build systemic and sustained data use at the state, district, school, and classroom levels. It is the vision for NJ SMART that the cooperative and effective entwinement of culture, tools, and practices stewards New Jersey students and educational decision makers along a pathway towards academic success.
Major initiatives have been completed within NJ SMART to meet ever expanding demands and expectations within the education landscape:
- NJ SMART's state assessment data warehouse has been populated with statewide test results that date back to 1999.
- In December 2006, NJ SMART initiated its first statewide data submission. Data provided by districts through this data submission was used to create unique student identification (SID) numbers. These SID numbers were issued to districts on March 21, 2007 and continue to be issued for students who enter the NJ public school system today.
- All districts have been offered training on EDanalyzer (a Web-based tool that allows districts to view and analyze state assessment data) as well as assessment-related student demographic information currently in the NJ SMART data warehouse.
- As of 2009-2010, districts have the ability to create local data marts and access district-level reports during their current school year to view the amalgamated results of their submitted data in real time.
- Beginning 2011-2012, NJ SMART began the collection of Staff level data. Since this collection, over 260,000 unique staff member identifiers (SMID) have been assigned to staff.
- The implementation of the Course Roster Submission enhanced New Jersey's statewide data system so that it could provide electronic transcripts for each student: one of the required "data assurances" under the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund agreement with the NJDOE. New Jersey's Course Roster Submission links teachers and students together through a unique course identifier.
Each of these initiatives will result in important outcomes for local districts:
- Integrated state assessment data means that districts have regular access to assessment reports that allow easy monitoring and comparison of critical performance measures.
- With the implementation of SIDs, districts are able to track students and their performance more effectively over time, even if they transfer in and out of districts.
- EDanalyzer allows districts to access assessment data that is as current as the most recent data loaded into the NJ SMART data warehouse.
- District Reports is a robust tool that works with Local Data Mart and Official Snapshots. The District Reports tool offers the opportunity for districts to bring together data currently stored in a variety of locations into one integrated data warehouse at their discretion. This allows staff to access linked student data, generate user-friendly reports to analyze student data outside of Official reporting period timeframes, and make data informed decisions within their respective LEA.
These activities combine to provide the foundation for a more comprehensive system of data reporting and student performance management for New Jersey public schools.