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    Richard Vespucci
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For Release: February 5, 2003


Commissioner Librera Announces Release of 2002 School Report Cards

Commissioner of Education William L. Librera today announced the release of the 2002 New Jersey School Report Cards. The School Report Card contains detailed statistical profiles of all public schools in the state. The annual reports are prepared for the public to gauge school and student progress.

"No enterprise is more crucial to our success as a society than our system of public education, and no enterprise costs more," said Commissioner of Education William L. Librera. "I urge parents and interested citizens to review the report cards of their local schools and in other schools throughout the state. The School Report Card can be an excellent tool to deepen the public’s understanding of what local educators are doing to provide students with a quality education."

The 2002 School Report Card presents six years of data in most of its categories. 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. New to the current edition are items related to professional development as reported by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards and a more detailed breakdown of average class sizes for the state’s elementary schools.
  • School-level student achievement results for state tests administered for fourth, eighth, and eleventh-graders, and results of the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) and Advanced Placement (AP) examinations. For the first time, summary AP data are included in the 2001 edition.
  • Graduates and post-graduation plans for high school students, including graduation rates and routes by which students earned their diplomas.
  • District-level personnel and fiscal information.

Data used in the report card are supplied by local school districts to the Department of Education. School districts were given opportunities to verify to the DOE the data they submitted.

Report cards are available in electronic format via the Internet. They can be accessed through the Department of Education’s Web site:

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

This location is linked to

http://nj.evalsoft.com

Users may view the school-level report cards which require no downloading. They may also download report card software to be able to compare data from different schools in the same district, or download data and maps to create their own data reports.

The reports released today are the eighth to be produced under a 1995 state law that standardizes much of the information and requires its annual distribution. They also represent the 12th 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/middle and secondary schools in regular school districts, schools operated by county vocational and special services districts, schools in regular districts that reported special education enrollments only for the 2001-02 school year, charter schools, and comprehensive high schools (schools that offer students training in approved occupational programs).

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