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new jersey department of environmental protection  


Living with the Future in Mind
Goals and Indicators for New Jersey's Quality of Life
First Annual Update to the Sustainable State Project Report 2000

Indicator 14

Additional  Quality Education Indicators

13 - Graduation Rates

15 - Standardized Test Scores

16 - Higher Education

Student/Teacher Ratio

Average number of students per full-time classroom teacher at New Jersey public schools: Little change

  Things to think about 

The work of teachers can only reach its highest potential when it is complemented by the teaching done by parents..




One of the most effective forms of education is student-teacher interaction. The student-to- teacher ratio for New Jersey public schools has recently hovered around 14 students per teacher, which places us second best among states. Our state may be stronger in the future as a result. These average class sizes reflect not only general education classes but also smaller classes, including special education and counseling.


Businesses invest in machinery, advertising, and materials. Through their taxes, they invest indirectly in an even more critical resource: educated employees, the products of our public schools. An investment in well educated people means far more to our economy than the purchase of any machine or the building of any infrastructure.


Education illuminates the connections between our actions and the consequences for the environment and our society. "Thinking skills" are crucial to fostering environmental awareness. Teachers cultivate such thinking. A quality education instills environmental stewardship values.


In addition to teaching skills and critical thinking, an education teaches children how to behave in social settings. Self-discipline, respect for others, and other key social values can be instilled through classroom experience. Adequate attention from teachers is a critical component of this learning experience.

Knowledge Gaps

This indicator does not take into account the quality of teaching or teacher qualifications. It also does not account for the curricula that are taught to our children. The indicator includes classes that have different types of teachers, such as special education and counseling, which are more prevalent in some schools. A better indicator would account for these differences and represent typical general education class sizes.

Data Source: NJ Department of Education

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2006
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Modified: April 27, 2007

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