Instructions for Using and
New Jersey 2008 School Report Card Database
Each table in the database has several indicator variables (or fields) in addition to the county, district, and school codes:
- YEAR. This is a variable created to indicate the school year in which the events/status the data collected represents. It is a four-digit field combining the last two digits of the beginning and ending school years.
- LEVEL. This field indicates the level of the data. School-level data is represented by an "S," district-level data is assigned a "D," DFG data an "F," and state-level data a "T". The selection of the level indication letter is based on the order of the letters appearing in a word. If the words for the different levels have the same first letter, the second letter is used for the higher level indicator value, and so forth. For example, S in the word "school" is used for school-level data and T in the word "state" for state-level data.
- DUMMY CODES. Three sets of dummy codes were created to generally indicate the following three levels of data: district, DFG, and state. The district-level data has the actual county and district codes, but a dummy school code of "888". The DFG-level data has "88" for the county code, "8888" for the district code, and "888" for the school code. The state -level data has "99" for the county code, "9999" for the district code, and "999" for the school code. These dummy codes can be used, in addition to the level field, to merge/combine different levels of data.
As some of the state averages were calculated based on the school-type groupings, the dummy county, district, and school codes for state-level data are expanded to indicate such variations:
99-9999-111 represents state averages of the elementary schools (including charter elementary) as a group.
99-9999-222 represents state averages of the secondary schools (including charter secondary and what is called comprehensive high school).
99-9999-333 represents state averages of the special services school districts.
99-9999-444 represents state averages of the special education schools.
99-9999-555 represents state averages of the vocational schools.
99-9999-999 represents state-level data, including all types of schools.
- DUMMY DFG CODES. Charter schools are assigned a dummy DFG code of "R," special education/services schools an "S," and vocational schools a "V". These codes are used solely for the grouping purposes, and, therefore, do not represent a DFG group in its real sense.
All these indicator fields and dummy county, district, and school codes make it possible for the database to have the same field names for the same data across years and levels contained in a single table, making the database compact and streamlined. The database can be either downloaded or opened remotely for viewing purposes. For data manipulation, it is recommended that the user download the report card database and save it onto the hard drive on the local computer. To download the database and its related documentation, click the related link(s) and follow the instructions on the screen.