NJDOE News
Contact: Richard Vespucci
For Release: February 14, 2000

1999 School Report Cards Released
(Embargoed--May not be published until Thursday February 17th)

Commissioner of Education David Hespe today released the 1999 New Jersey School Report Cards. The School Report Card contains statistical profiles of all public schools in the state and is an important element in New Jersey's strategic plan to set high standards, measure school progress and report results to the public each year.

"Over the years, the School Report Card has proven to be a reliable source of information for the education community and the general public, who are seeking to determine whether their schools are achieving their goals effectively and efficiently," said Governor Whitman."

"I hope that the public will continue to look to the School Report Card for information about their schools as they begin the public process to adopt their budgets for the 2000-2001 school year," said Commissioner of Education David Hespe.

The 1999 edition of the School Report Card presents five years of data in most of its categories. New to the current edition are the May 1999 results of the Elementary School Proficiency Assessment (ESPA) and the March 1999 results of the Grade Eight Proficiency Assessment (GEPA). Both tests were officially administered for the first time last year. These tests, along with the planned High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA), are components of the department's statewide testing system that reflect the Core Curriculum Content Standards adopted by the State Board of Education in May 1996. Additionally, the results of the High School Proficiency Test (HSPT) will appear as composite scores for the October and April administrations of the test for school years 1995-96 through 1998-99.

The five main sections of the School Report Card are:

  • A school narrative, enabling parents and community members to see the school through the eyes of those who work there.
  • School-level demographic and organizational data.
  • School-level student achievement results for state tests administered to fourth-, eighth- and eleventh-graders, and results of the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) and Advanced Placement examinations.
  • District-level personnel and fiscal information.

Report cards are made available in an electronic format, and are available to local school districts, as well as other citizens, via the Internet. They can be accessed through the department's website:

http://www.state.nj.us/education

Visitors to the department's website will be able to analyze data for all schools collected for individual categories of the School Report Card. Visitors can also use a query capability to compare districts across other schools and districts.

The reports released today are the fifth to be produced under a 1995 state law enacted by Governor Christie Whitman that standardizes much of the information appearing in the report card and requires its annual distribution. They also represent the ninth time New Jersey has issued a report on its public schools since the first report cards were distributed in 1989.

Report cards are produced for elementary and middle schools in regular school districts, schools operated by county vocational and special services districts, and schools in regular districts that reported special education enrollments only for the 1998-99 school year.

Commissioner Hespe thanked local school district personnel for their cooperation in supplying data for the statistical profiles.