NJDOE News

Contact: Richard Vespucci
For Release: February 7, 2001

Commissioner Hespe Releases 2000 School Report Cards

Commissioner of Education David Hespe today released the 2000 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 continuing commitment to set high standards, measure school progress and report results to the public each year.

"The School Report Card is a reliable and valuable source of information about our schools," Commissioner Hespe said. "This rich source of data is used daily by parents and interested citizens who seek information about the academic performance and staffing in each of our 2,342 public schools.

"We continue to refine the School Report Card each year so that it can continue to serve as a useful tool for parents and taxpayers in evaluating school improvement efforts," Hespe said.

In the area of student achievement, the results of the most recent Elementary School Proficiency Assessment (ESPA) and the Grade Eight Proficiency Assessment (GEPA) are included in the School Report Card for the second time. This year, the content area of science has been added to those of language arts literacy and mathematics for the GEPA. Results for these three content areas appear again for the ESPA. The results of the High School Proficiency Test (HSPT) appear as composite scores for the October and April administrations of the test for school years 1995-96 through 1999-00.

The three state 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.

For the first time this year, the report cards will include profiles of New Jersey’s charter schools that were in operation during the 1999-00 school year.

The main sections of the School Report Card are:

  • A school narrative which enables parents and community members to see the school through the eyes of those who work there. For the first time in the current edition, the narratives are available statewide.
  • School-level demographic and organizational data. New to the current edition are items related to student behavior, such as student suspensions and expulsions, and educational technology, such as student/computer ratios and Internet connectivity.
  • School-level achievement results for state tests administered to fourth-, eighth- and eleventh-graders, and results of the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) and Advanced Placement examinations taken by high school students.

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

The report card software may also be accessed and downloaded from the following alternate website:

http://nj.evalsoft.com.

Visitors to the department’s website will be able to analyze data for all schools collected for individual categories of the School Report Card. The site offers a sophisticated query capability which allows for the comparison of districts with other schools and districts. Also, as part of the department’s overall plan to increase accessibility, visitors can, for the first time, search for, select, and print individual report cards from a website designed for this purpose without having to download and install a software application to their computers.

The reports released today are the sixth to be produced under a 1995 state law that standardizes much of the information appearing in the report card and requires its annual distribution. They also represent the tenth 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 1999-00 school year, and charter schools.

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