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2016-17 School Performance Reports Offer More Valuable Information Based on Public Feedback

For Immediate Release
Contact: David Saenz 
January 12, 2018
609-376-9072

Trenton, NJ – Today, the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) released the state's School Performance Reports for the 2016-17 school year, which include over two dozen new data elements and parent-friendly school Summary Reports.

For over a year, the NJDOE conducted a survey and many in-person meetings with families, educators, students and other community members across the state to understand the kind of information they want to know about their schools. Reflecting on the feedback from over 5,000 New Jersey residents, this year's reports have more information about the quality of students' educational experiences in each New Jersey public school.

"The enhanced reports reflect the NJDOE's extensive efforts to engage with parents, students and school communities about what information is most valuable in providing a picture of overall school performance," said Education Commissioner Kimberley Harrington. "We encourage all members of the school community to use the reports to help start local conversations by asking questions such as: Are our students on track for success? Are all of our students making progress from last year? What areas is our school doing well in, and in what areas might we need improvement?"

New Enhancements

For the first time, the NJDOE is publishing one-page Summary Reports providing easy-to-read highlights of each school. The Summary Reports are a dashboard of key indicators such as student progress, graduation rates and 2-year and 4-year college attendance. 
As a result of input from the field and some new federal requirements, the full School Performance Reports contain more information than has ever been included. Users will find over two dozen new data elements, such as teacher and administrator experience, in-school and out-of-school suspensions, industry-valued credentials and preschool and Kindergarten offerings.

In addition, federal law requires New Jersey to include a summative rating based on a formula that combines a few key measures (i.e., proficiency, student growth, graduation and chronic absenteeism). This summative rating is just one part of the overall performance of a school. It is used to determine which schools need the most intense support, and is one way New Jersey ensures all students have access to high-quality education.

Finally, in response to requests from school leaders, the NJDOE provided an opportunity for schools to tell their own stories through the school narratives. 

Next Steps

Families, students, educators and other community members can better identify the strengths and weaknesses of their school, and engage in conversations about how best to serve their students by providing diverse data in multiple formats. This information helps schools to identify and prioritize their students' needs.

Additional Feedback Requested

The School Performance Reports were developed with, and are continually enhanced by, feedback from the public. The NJDOE continues to seek input on how to further improve the readability and usability of these reports. Any interested members of the public wanting to provide their input can do so by completing the NJDOE's feedback survey.

The full School Performance Reports and Summary Reports, the reference guide and other supporting documents can be accessed online.