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For Release: May 1, 2003


HSPA Results Show Significant Improvement by Graduating Seniors

arrow Comparison of HSPA 02 and GEPA 99 Results

arrow Statewide Summary

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The Department of Education announced that the results of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) administered in 2002 shows a significant gain in performance by the same students over a three-year period.

This is the first time that the department is able to track the performance by the same students on comparable standards-based tests and it shows significant improvements on two core curriculums," said Education Commissioner William L. Librera.

As I read the results, I see improvements not only from partially proficient to proficient, but also improvement to advanced proficient," said Dr. Librera. "The schools took this cohort's GEPA results and used them to successfully refocus classroom instruction."

The comparison of the results of the Grade Eight Proficiency Assessment administered in 1999 to last year's HSPA - which was taken by this year's graduating high school seniors - show:

  • An increase in language arts literacy and mathematics by all students.
  • An increase in language arts literacy and mathematics among the general education population.
  • An increase in language arts literacy and mathematics by special education students.
  • An increase in language arts literacy by students with limited English proficiency (LEP). The math scores by LEP students remained basically flat between GEPA 99 and HSPA 02.

These test results show that our students are learning," Commissioner Librera said. "Congratulations are due to this year's high school graduating class for their significant improvements between their eighth grade and eleventh grade tests."

If you have based your learning experience on what students should know and be able to do, as New Jersey does with its Core Curriculum Content Standards, then you need to be able to check them on those criteria statewide," said Richard Ten Eyck, assistant commissioner for Educational Programs and Assessment. "The value of these test results side by side is that they enable you to see a reliable and significant improvement in many categories."

The Department released a chart comparing the HSPA 02 and GEPA 99 results that highlight the significant results for different student segments:

Total students:

  • Decreases in partially proficient in language arts literacy and math.
  • Increase from proficient to advanced proficient in language arts literacy.
  • Increase from partially proficient to proficient in mathematics.

General Education students:

  • Significant decreases in Partially Proficient in both language arts literacy and mathematics.
  • Significant increase in Proficient in mathematics.
  • Significant growth in Advanced Proficiency in language arts literacy.

Special Education students

  • Increase in the numbers of students tested.
  • Decreases in partially proficient in language arts literacy and mathematics.
  • Increase in proficient in language arts literacy and mathematics.

Limited English Proficient students

  • Significant increase in the numbers of students tested.
  • Decrease in partially proficient in language arts literacy.
  • Increase in proficient in language arts literacy.