In 1995, the New Jersey State Legislature mandated the New Jersey School Report Card in N.J.S.A. 18A:7E 1-5. The law outlines the fields of information that are required, at a minimum, including the school narrative.
This report card issued in February 2010 contains data for the 2008-09 school year. Enrollment numbers are based on the October 15, 2008 district enrollment count. The information in the report card is school-level data, except for the finance section which contains district-level information. For charter schools, however, the finance section is school-level. The source of the information contained in the New Jersey School Report Card is the school district or the charter school, unless otherwise indicated in this guide.
There are several general practices and rules that are used throughout the document. They are as follows:
The following sections explain the data in the various report card fields.
Average Class Size
Average class size for elementary schools (Pre-K-8) is based on the enrollment per grade divided by the total number of classrooms for that grade. For elementary grades, the state average is the statewide total enrollment for each grade divided by the statewide total number of classrooms in that grade.
Average Class size for secondary schools (9-12) is based on the total enrollment per grade divided by the total number of English classes for the same grade. For secondary grades, the state average is the total enrollment for each grade divided by the total number of English classes for the same grade.
For Special Services School Districts and special education schools, average class size is calculated by dividing the total enrollment by the total number of classrooms.
Length of School Day
This is the amount of time a school is in session for a typical student on a normal school day.
This is the amount of time per day that a typical student is engaged in instructional activities under the supervision of a certified teacher.
This shows the average number of students served by each instructional, multimedia-capable computer (any computer that has a manufacture date after July 1, 2005) that is available for the purposes of supervised instruction. The ratio is calculated by dividing the total enrollment by the total number of multimedia-capable computers that are used for instruction.
This shows the numbers of instructional, multimedia-capable computers (any computer that has a manufacture date after July 1, 2005) available for instruction at various locations and how many of those computers have a connection to the Internet.
Length of School Year (charter schools only)
This is the number of days in the regular school year.
School Waiting List (charter schools only)
The list contains numbers of students who are waiting for openings in the charter school roster as of the opening of school.
School Classrooms (charter schools only)
This is the number of classrooms in the school.
Enrollment by Grade
Enrollment is the October 15 count as reported on the department’s annual Fall Survey collected from each school. The enrollment is reported by grade level for regular and charter schools. For Special Services School Districts and special education schools, the enrollment is reported by class description. For vocational schools, the enrollment is reported by grade level with the addition of shared-time and full-time.
Students with Disabilities
This shows the percentage of students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP), including speech, regardless of placement and programs. This is calculated by dividing the total number of students with IEPs by the total enrollment.
This is the percentage of students in the school by first language spoken at home. The list includes up to seven languages in descending order of frequency plus all others. This is calculated by dividing the number of students who speak a given language by the total enrollment. There is a calculation for each language listed, including English and all others.
Limited English Proficient (LEP) Students
This is the percentage of LEP students in the school. It is calculated by dividing the total number of students who are in limited English proficient programs by the total enrollment.
Student Mobility Rate
This is the percentage of students who both entered and left during the school year. The calculation is derived from the sum of students entering and leaving after the October enrollment count divided by the total enrollment.
STUDENT PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
Performance on State Tests – High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA), and New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJASK) 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8
The statewide assessment system comprises state tests that are designed to measure student progress in the attainment of the Core Curriculum Content Standards. Under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), all states are required to assess student progress in language arts and math in grades 3-8 and grade 11. The state also assesses science in grades four and eight.
At the elementary level, there were new assessments administered in spring 2009 in language arts and math to students in grades 3 and 4. Therefore, NJASK 3 and 4 show only one year of test information in this report card, but NJASK 5-8 show two years of results. Grade 4 and grade 8 science also have two years of data.
High schools show assessment results from the 11th grade spring 2009 administration of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) in language arts and math. The HSPA is the test that students must pass in order to graduate from high school. Retests are not included in these results.
The data presented in this report card will differ slightly from the data in the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) reports required by federal law. The NCLB reports show assessment results in three grade spans after the application of NCLB rules for the purpose of calculating adequate yearly progress (AYP) and identifying schools in need of improvement. By contrast, the assessment results presented in this report card have had no restrictions or conditions applied to them. These data are the state’s assessment results that have been disaggregated into subgroups for all students who attend a school.
State assessments are administered with the assistance of test contractors who collect and tally the student-level data. The results are distributed to local districts that have an opportunity to correct any errors. The Department of Education’s Office of Assessment conducts the final quality control of all test data and is the source of the assessment results for all state reports, including the New Jersey School Report Card. The assessment office also produces the annual state assessment summary report that differs slightly from the school report card. The report card information contains only the scores of the students who physically attend that school, while the assessment summary for a school adds in the scores of the special education students who are sent to out-of-district placements. The addition of these out-of-district scores creates some differences in totals when compared to the report card totals.
National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the largest national assessment of what our nation’s students know and can do. NAEP assesses fourth-, eighth-, and twelfth-grade students in subjects such as reading, mathematics, science, and writing. The National Assessment Governing Board, which sets NAEP policy, also develops the content frameworks for the assessment. NAEP is administered by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), located within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) in the U.S. Department of Education, and the reporting of NAEP scores on state report cards is a federal mandate. The results of NAEP are also published as the Nation’s Report Card, and are available for the nation, states, and, in some cases, urban districts. For more information, visit http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/.
This field shows the percentages of students who met or otherwise satisfied the state’s testing requirements for graduation in several different ways – passing the HSPA, passing the Special Review Assessment (SRA), or special education exempt from passing HSPA.
Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)
The Scholastic Assessment Test is a voluntary test administered by the College Board, usually for the purpose of college admission. The percentile scores are the average scores of the students whose performance places them along a range from 1-99. The score listed under the 25th percentile means that a quarter of the students’ scores fell below that point and the rest were above. Under the 50th percentile, half of the students’ scores fell above that score and half fell below. In the 75th percentile, a quarter of the students’ scores were above that score and the rest were below. The source of the data for the report card is the College Board.
Advanced Placement (AP)
This information is obtained from the College Board for students who have taken an advanced placement exam. It shows the classes offered at the school, the numbers of students in each class and the numbers who took the test for the course.
NOTE: The AP numbers reported in this report card are based on a snapshot in time that allows the College Board to provide consistent data from year to year. The AP reports from the College Board contain data from files created in July which include approximately 97-99% of the test-takers. The database created by the July snapshot is not updated by College Board for reporting purposes. Therefore, the numbers in the report card can only be considered correct as of the cut-off date.
Advanced Placement Results Summary
This shows the total who scored 3 or greater on the AP tests. It is a duplicated number which means that a single student may be counted more than once in this total, if the student took more than one test and scored 3 or above.
Advanced Placement Participation Data
The percentage of students taking Advanced Placement tests is calculated by dividing the number of students who took at least one AP test by the total number of students enrolled in grades 11 and 12 based on the October 15 enrollment count.
National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) (vocational only)
The NOCTI develops and administers national job-ready examinations that include both written and performance tests that measure a student’s knowledge and skills for entry into an occupational field. The number of students taking the tests is listed, along with school and state average scores for written and performance tests.
Certification/Licensure and Required Examination Results (vocational only)
This section lists by program area the test results for those occupations that require a license, certification, or examination. The data reflect those students who were tested in an occupational program during the school year.
Other Performance Measures
Student Attendance Rate
These are the grade-level percentages of students on average who are present at school each day. They are calculated by dividing the sum of days present in each grade level by the sum of possible days present for all students in each grade. The school and state totals are calculated by the sum of days present in all applicable grade levels divided by the total possible days present for all students.
Dropout Rate (secondary only)
These are the percentages of students who dropped out of grades 9-12 presented by various subgroups. The percentages are calculated by dividing the number of students in grades 9 through 12 who dropped out of school during the period of July to June each school year by the October enrollment reported for grades 9 through 12.
Graduation Rate (secondary only)
The graduation rate for schools with seniors is calculated by the formula contained in the approved Accountability Workbook for New Jersey as required by the No Child left Behind Act. Based on the National Center for Education Statistics’ definition, this calculation provides an estimate for the cohort of students that began high school four years ago.
The calculation is derived by taking the number of school-year graduates plus the summer graduates following the senior year and dividing by a combination of the following:
School year plus summer graduates plus number of grade 9 dropouts four years prior, plus number of grade 10 dropouts three years prior, plus number of grade 11 dropouts two years prior, plus number of grade 12 dropouts for this report card year. The resulting number is then multiplied by 100 to get the graduation rate.
Post-Graduation Plans (secondary only)
These are percentages of graduating seniors who are pursuing various self-reported, intended post-high school plans. For vocational schools, these percentages are for full-time students. The calculations are derived by dividing the number of respondents in each category by the total graduates.
These are percentages of students who were suspended at least once during the school year. Students suspended more than one time are counted once. The percents are calculated by dividing the total number suspended by the total enrollment.
This shows the number of students who were expelled from the school and district during the year. The total represents the total number of students expelled statewide. Completion Data (vocational only) These are the percentages of students who successfully completed an occupational program categorized by their enrollment status. This is calculated by dividing the number of students in each enrollment status by the total graduates.
This is the number of students per administrator in the school. It is calculated by dividing the total school enrollment in October by the number of administrators reported in full-time equivalents (FTEs). Where a single administrator has responsibility for more than one school, the FTE may represent the administrator as less than one.
This is the number of students per faculty member. It is calculated by dividing the reported October school enrollment by the combined full-time equivalents (FTEs) of classroom teachers and educational support services personnel assigned to the school as of October of the school year.
Faculty Attendance Rate
This is the average daily attendance for the faculty of the school. It is calculated by dividing the total number of days present by the total number of days contracted for all faculty members.
Faculty Mobility Rate
This represents the rate at which faculty members come and go during the school year. It is calculated by using the number of faculty who entered or left employment in the school after October 15 divided by the total number of faculty reported as of that same date.
Faculty and Administrator Credentials
These are percentages of faculty and administrative members in the school who hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree. For vocational and special services schools, there is also information about licenses or certification in addition to or in place of degrees.
National Board Certification
This shows the number of teachers at the school and district levels who have been certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. In addition to teachers actively working in the districts, the state total may also include teachers who work in nonpublic schools, as well as those who became administrators, have retired or are on leave. This rigorous certification is encouraged, but not required.
DISTRICT/CHARTER FINANCIAL DATA
This section containing the financial data is district-level information for all schools except charter schools. Charter schools are public schools that are operated under a charter granted by the Commissioner of Education. The school is independent of the school district and managed by a board of trustees. In accordance with charter school law, the school district of residence must pay directly to the charter school for each student enrolled in the charter school who resides in the district an amount equal to 90% of the sum of the budget year equalization aid per pupil and the prebudget year general fund tax levy per pupil inflated by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate in effect at the time of the calculation. In addition, the school district of residence must pay directly to the charter school the security categorical aid attributable to the student and a percentage of the district’s special education categorical aid equal to the percentage of the district’s special education students enrolled in the charter school and, if applicable, 100% of preschool education aid. The financial information for the charter schools shows school average compared to charter average, while all other school report cards show district average compared to a state average for districts of a similar budget type. Budget type refers to the grade span that a district must budget for. If a district sends its 9-12 students to another district, it has a budget type that is K-12 (the district pays tuition to the receiving district for the 9-12 students), but the district has an operating type of K-8.
Administrative and Faculty Personnel
These include the number of administrators in the district reported in FTEs in October of each year, the number of schools in the districts, the ratio of students to administrators, and the ratio of faculty to administrators in the district. Similar information at the school level is shown earlier in this report card. Administrators include certificated administrative personnel in the central office, principals and school administrators -- both supervisory and non-supervisory. The number of faculty per administrator is calculated by dividing the combined FTE of classroom teachers and educational support personnel by the FTE of administrators as reported in October.
Median Salary and Years of Experience of Administrative and Faculty Personnel
This contains the median salary -- half of the salaries are above the median and half are below -- for both administrators and faculty. It also contains the median years of experience based on total number of years in public education.
Teacher Salaries and Benefits
Total teacher salaries and benefits are represented as a percent of total expenditures for this category, as reported in the Per-Pupil Expenditure section that follows. The percent increase or decrease represents the change in expenditures in teacher salaries/benefits from one year to the next.
Administrative Salaries and Benefits
Total administrative salaries and benefits are represented as a percent of total expenditures for this category, as reported in the Per-Pupil Expenditure section that follows. The percent increase or decrease represents the change in expenditures in administrator salaries/benefits from one year to the next.
This presents the total revenues from various sources reflecting the combination of the ways districts are funded through local taxes, state aid, federal aid, and other sources, such as local district surplus and tuition income.
Budgets and Per-pupil Expenditures
There are two district-wide costs per pupil amounts for three years that correspond to the rest of the data in the report card. First is the Comparative Cost per Pupil that represents comparisons with districts of similar budget type. The components that comprise the comparative cost per pupil are as follows: classroom instructional costs; support services (attendance and social work, health services, guidance office, child study team, library and other educational media); administrative costs (general administration, school administration, business administration, and improvement of instruction); operations/maintenance of plant; food services, and extracurricular costs. The total of these expenditures is divided by the average daily enrollment for a total comparative cost per pupil.
Second is the Total Cost Per Pupil which, in addition to all of the costs listed above for the comparative cost, includes costs for tuition expenditures; transportation; other current expenses (lease purchase interest, residential costs, and judgments against schools); equipment; facilities/acquisition; and restricted expenses less nonpublic services and adult schools, as well as students sent out of district. The total of these expenditures is divided by the average daily enrollment for a total cost per pupil.