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Historical Report Card Data 2004 Definitions

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INTRODUCTION

In 1995, the New Jersey State Legislature mandated the New Jersey School Report Card in N.J.S.A. 18A:7E 1-5. The law outlines the fields of information that are required at a minimum, including the school narrative.

This report card issued in February 2005 contains data for the 2003-04 school year. Enrollment numbers are based on the October 15, 2003 district enrollment count. The information in the report card is school-level data, except for the finance section which contains district-level information. For charter schools, however, the finance section is school-level. Unless otherwise stated, the source of the information contained in the New Jersey School Report Card is the school district or the charter school.

As you use the school report card, there are several general practices and definitions that are used throughout the document. They are as follows:

  • SUPPRESSION: In reporting any type of assessment results, an asterisk indicates that the data were suppressed for any group of students that numbered ten or less in order to protect privacy. Test data are also suppressed where the failure rate is 100%, including all other data related to it.
  • ZERO: A zero in a data field in most cases means that there is no data to report for that field for this report card year.
  • BLANK: A blank in most cases means this data element does not apply to this school.
  • STATE AVERAGE: Unless otherwise stated in the definitions, state averages are computed by four school types as follows: vocational schools; Special Services School Districts/special education schools; all elementary schools (regular and charter); or all secondary schools (regular, comprehensive, and charter).
  • FACULTY: In fields that refer to faculty, this term includes classroom teachers and educational support services personnel such as guidance counselors and librarians.
  • ADMINISTRATORS: In fields that refer to administrators, this term includes the certificated personnel such as the superintendent, assistant superintendents, school business administrator, principals, assistant principals, supervisors, non-supervisory coordinators, and directors.

REPORT CARD FIELDS

The following definitions explain the data in the various report card fields:

SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT

Average Class Size
Average class size for elementary schools (PreK-8) is based on the enrollment per grade divided by the total number of classrooms for that grade. For elementary, the state average is the statewide total enrollment for each grade divided by the statewide total number of classrooms in that grade.

Average Class size for secondary schools (9-12) is based on the total enrollment per grade divided by the total number of English classes for the same grade. For secondary, the state average is the total enrollment for each grade divided by the total number of English classes for the same grade.

For Special Services School Districts and special education schools, average class size is calculated by dividing the total enrollment by the total number of classrooms.

Length of School Day
This is the amount of time a school is in session for a typical student on a normal school day.

Instructional Time
This is the amount of time per day that a typical student is engaged in instructional activities under the supervision of a certified teacher.

Student/Computer Ratio
This shows the average number of students served by each computer used for instruction. It is calculated by dividing the total enrollment by the total number of computers that are used for instruction.

Internet Connectivity
This shows the percentages of room locations in school that have Internet access and where studentsí use of the Internet is monitored. This is calculated by dividing the number of rooms with Internet connections by the total number of rooms.

School Waiting List (charter schools only)
The list contains numbers of students who are waiting for openings in the charter school roster as of the opening of school.

School Classrooms (charter schools only)
This is the number of classrooms in the school.

STUDENT INFORMATION

Enrollment by Grade
Enrollment is the October 15 count as reported on the departmentís 2003 Fall Survey collected from each school. The enrollment is reported by grade level for regular and charter schools. For Special Services School Districts and special education schools, the enrollment is reported by class description. For vocational schools, the enrollment is reported by grade level with the addition of shared-time and full-time.

Students with Disabilities
This shows the percentage of students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP), including speech, regardless of placement and programs. This is calculated by dividing the total number of students with IEPs by the total enrollment.

Language Diversity
This is the percentage of students in the school by first language spoken at home. The list includes up to seven languages in descending order of frequency plus all others. This is calculated by dividing the number of students who speak a given language by the total enrollment. There is a calculation for each language listed including English and all others.

Limited English Proficient (LEP) Students
This is the percentage of LEP students in the school. It is calculated by dividing the total number of students who are in limited English proficient programs by the total enrollment.

Student Mobility Rate
This is the percentage of students who both entered and left during the school year. The calculation is derived by the sum of students entering and leaving after the October enrollment count divided by the total enrollment.

STUDENT PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

Assessments
Performance on State Tests — High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA), Grade Eight Proficiency Assessment (GEPA), New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge 4 (NJASK 4), and NJASK 3.

The statewide assessment system comprises state tests that are designed to measure student progress in the attainment of the Core Curriculum Content Standards. Under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), all states are required to assess student progress in language arts and math in grades 3-8. Under state and federal law, testing is currently at four levels Ė grades three, four, eight, and eleven. The test results in this report card reflect the state and federal testing requirements for all students and the various subgroups for the 2002-03 and 2003-04 school years.

In this report card, the data for the fourth-grade test come from the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge 4 (NJASK 4) that was administered for the first time in the spring of 2003. This is the first year of data reported for the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge 3 (NJASK 3).

Schools that include grade eight have administered the Grade Eight Proficiency Assessment (GEPA) in language arts, math, and science.

High schools show assessment results from two administrations of the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA), the test that students must pass in order to graduate from high school. Prior to the 2001-02 school year, the state had administered the High School Proficiency Test which has been replaced by the HSPA, a more rigorous test aligned with the revised Core Curriculum Content Standards.

The data presented in this report card will differ slightly from the data in the No Child Left Behind(NCLB) reports required by federal law. The NCLB reports show assessment results after the application of NCLB rules for the purpose of calculating adequate yearly progress (AYP) and identifying schools in need of improvement. By contrast, the assessment results presented in this report have had no restrictions or conditions applied to them. These data are the state summary results that have been disaggregated into subgroups for all students.

State assessments are administrated with the assistance of test contractors who collect and tally the student-level data. The results are distributed to local districts that have an opportunity to correct any errors. The Department of Educationís Office of Evaluation and Assessment conducts the final quality control of all test data and is the source of the assessment results for the New Jersey School Report Card.

Graduation Type
This field shows the percentages of students who met or otherwise satisfied the state testing requirements for graduation in several different ways.

Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)
The Scholastic Assessment Test is a voluntary test administered by the College Board, usually for the purpose of college admission. The percentile scores are the average scores of the students whose performance places them along a range from 1-99. The score listed under the 25th percentile means that a quarter of the studentsí scores fell below that point and the rest were above. Under the 50th percentile, half of the studentsí scores fell above that score and half fell below. In the 75th percentile, a quarter of the studentsí scores were above that score and the rest were below. The source of the data is the Educational Testing Service.

Advanced Placement (AP)
This information is obtained from the College Board for students who have taken an advanced placement exam. It shows the classes offered at the school, the numbers of students in each class and the numbers who took the test for the course.

Advanced Placement Results Summary
This shows the total who scored 3 or greater on the AP tests. It is a duplicated number which means that a single student may be counted more than once in this total, if the student took more than one test and scored 3 or above.

Advanced Placement Participation Data
The percentage of students taking Advanced Placement courses is calculated by dividing the number of students who took at least one AP test by the total number of students enrolled in grades 11 and 12 based on the October count.

National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) (vocational only)
The NOCTI develops and administers national job-ready examinations that include both written and performance tests that measure a studentís knowledge and skills for entry into an occupational field. The number of students taking the tests is listed, along with school and state average scores for written and performance tests.

Certification/Licensure and Required Examination Results (vocational only)
This section lists by program area the test results for those occupations that require a license, certification, or examination. The data reflect those students who were tested in an occupational program during the school year.

Other Performance Measures-

Student Attendance Rate
These are the grade-level percentages of students on average who are present at school each day. They are calculated by dividing the sum of days present in each grade level by the sum of possible days for all students in each grade. The school and state totals are calculated by the sum of days present in all applicable grade levels divided by the total possible days for all students.

Dropout Rate (secondary only)
These are the percentages of students who dropped out of grades 9-12 presented by various subgroups. The percentages are calculated by dividing the number of students in grades 9 through 12 who dropped out of school during the period of July to June each school year by the October enrollment reported for grades 9 through 12.

Graduation Rate (secondary only)
The graduation rate for schools with seniors is calculated by the formula contained in the approved Accountability Workbook for New Jersey as required by the No Child left Behind Act. Based on the National Center for Education Statisticsí definition, this calculation provides an estimate for the cohort of students that began high school four years ago.

The calculation is derived by taking the number of school-year graduates plus the summer graduates following the school year and dividing by a combination of the following:

School year plus summer graduates plus number of grade 9 dropouts four years prior, plus number of grade 10 dropouts three years prior, plus number of grade 11 dropouts two years prior, plus number of grade 12 dropouts for this report card year. The product is then multiplied by 100 to get the graduation rate.

Post-Graduation Plans (secondary only for all high schools)
These are percentages of graduating seniors who are pursuing various self-reported post-high school plans. For vocational schools, these percentages are for full-time students. The calculations are derived by dividing the number of respondents in each category by the total graduates.

Student Suspensions
These are percentages of students who were suspended at least once during the school year. Students suspended more than one time are counted once. The percents are calculated by dividing the total number suspended by the total enrollment.

Student Expulsions
This shows the number of students who were expelled from the school during the year. The total represents the total number of students expelled statewide.

Completion Data (vocational schools only)
These are the percentages of students who successfully completed an occupational program categorized by their enrollment status. This is calculated by dividing the number of students in each enrollment status by the total graduates.

STAFF INFORMATION

Student/Administrator Ratio
This is the number of students per administrator in the school. It is calculated by dividing the total school enrollment in October by the number of administrators reported in full-time equivalents (FTEs). Where a single administrator has responsibility for more than one school, the FTE may represent the administrator as less than one.

Student/Faculty Ratio
This is the number of students per faculty member. It is calculated by dividing the reported October school enrollment by the combined full-time equivalents (FTEs) of classroom teachers and educational support services personnel assigned to the school as of October of the school year.

Faculty Attendance Rate
This is the average daily attendance for the faculty of the school. It is calculated by dividing the total number of days present by the total number of days contracted for all faculty members.

Faculty Turnover Rate
This represents the rate at which faculty members come and go during the school year. It is calculated by using the number of faculty who entered or left employment in the school after October 15 divided by the total number of faculty reported as of that same date. This is a new field for regular elementary and secondary schools. This information was reported for charter schools only in prior years.

Highly Qualified Teacher Information
Under the No Child Left Behind Act, the classroom teachers must meet new standards to retain or achieve certification. This explains what the requirements are for being a highly qualified teacher, and it reports the percent of teachers who are teaching with emergency or conditional certificates.

Faculty and Administrator Credentials
These are percentages of faculty members in the school who hold a Bachelorís, Masterís, or doctoral degree.

National Board Certification
This shows the number of teachers or administrators in the school who have been certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. This rigorous certification is encouraged, but not required. The number at the district level may include teachers or administrators who are retired or on leave from the district but hold national board certification. The state total may additionally include teachers or administrators who work in nonpublic schools, as well as retirees, those on leave, and those actively working in the district.

DISTRICT/CHARTER FINANCIAL DATA

This section containing the financial data is district-level information for all schools except charter schools. Charter schools are public schools that are operated under a charter granted by the Commissioner. The school is independent of the school district and managed by a board of trustees. In accordance with charter school law, the school district where the charter school is located must pay directly to the charter school, for each student enrolled in the charter school who resides in the district, an amount equal to the lower of either 90% of the program budget per pupil for the specific grade level in the district or 90% of the maximum Thorough and Efficient (T&E) amount under the finance law.

The per-pupil amount paid to the charter school cannot exceed the program budget per pupil for the specific grade level in the district in which the school is located. The district of residence must also pay directly to the charter school any categorical aid attributable to the student, provided the student is receiving appropriate categorical services. For any student enrolled in a charter school in which 90% of the program budget per pupil for the specific grade level is greater than 90% of the maximum T&E amount, the state must pay the difference between the two amounts.

The financial information for the charter schools shows school average compared to charter average, while all other school report cards show district average compared to a state average for districts of a similar operating type statewide as is used in the Comparative Spending Guide. http://www.state.nj.us/njded/guide/2004/

Administrative and Faculty Personnel
These include the number of administrators in the district reported in FTEs in October of each year, the number of schools in the districts, the ratio of students to administrators, and the ratio of faculty to administrators in the district. Similar information at the school level is shown earlier in this report card. Administrators include certificated administrative personnel in the central office, principals and school administrators -- both supervisory and non-supervisory. The number of faculty per administrator is calculated by dividing the combined FTE of classroom teachers and educational support personnel by the FTE of administrators as reported in October.

Median Salary and Years of Experience of Administrative and Faculty Personnel
This contains the median salary -- half of the salaries are above the median and half are below -- for both administrators and faculty. It also contains the median years of experience based on total number of years in public education.

Teacher Salaries and Benefits
Total teacher salaries and benefits are represented as a percent of total expenditures for this category as reported in the Per-Pupil Expenditure section that follows. The percent increase or decrease represents the change in expenditures in teacher salaries/benefits from one year to the next.

Administrative Salaries and Benefits
Total administrative salaries and benefits are represented as a percent of total expenditures for this category as reported in the Per-Pupil Expenditure section that follows. The percent increase or decrease represents the change in expenditures in administrator salaries/benefits from one year to the next.

Revenues
This presents the total revenues from various sources reflecting the combination of the ways districts are funded through local taxes, state aid, federal aid, and other sources, such local district surplus and tuition income. It is the first year of reporting revenue data for charter schools.

Budgets and Per-pupil Expenditures
There are two district-wide costs per pupil amounts for three years that correspond to the rest of the data in the report card. First is the Comparative Cost Per Pupil that represents comparisons with districts of similar operating type. The components that comprise the comparative cost per pupil are as follows: classroom instructional costs; support services (attendance and social work, health services, guidance office, child study team, library and other educational media); administrative costs (general administration, school administration, business administration, and improvement of instruction); operations/maintenance of plant; food services, and extracurricular costs. The total of these expenditures is divided by the average daily enrollment for a total comparative cost per pupil.

Second is the Total Cost Per Pupil which, in addition to all of the costs listed above for the comparative cost, includes costs for tuition expenditures; transportation; other current expenses (lease purchase interest, residential costs, and judgments against schools); equipment; facilities/acquisition; and restricted expenses less nonpublic services and adult schools, as well as students sent out of district. The total of these expenditures is divided by the average daily enrollment for a total cost per pupil.