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Historical Report Card Data 2003 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 2004 contains data for the 2002-03 school year. Enrollment numbers are based on the October 15, 2002 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. However, due to variations in the data collection software, there may be exceptions to this general rule.
  • BLANK: A blank in most cases means this data item does not apply to this school. However, due to variations in the data collection software, there may be exceptions to this general rule.
  • STATE AVERAGE: Unless otherwise stated in the definitions, state averages are computed for the following school types: 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 what the data in the various report card fields represent:

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. In schools where there is special education enrollment but a zero for class size, it means that all of the students are mainstreamed in regular 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 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 are wired for the Internet and where students’ use of the Internet is monitored. This is calculated by dividing the number of rooms with Internet connections by the total number of rooms.

Length of School Year (charter schools only)
This includes the number of days that school is in session for students.

Parent Involvement Programs and Activities (charter schools only)
This includes programs and activities during a school year that promote and foster parent and community participation and involvement.

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

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 department’s 2002 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, reading and math, regardless of placement and programs. This is calculated by dividing the total number of students with IEPs by the total enrollment.

Language Diversity
These are the percents 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 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 Participation (charter schools only)
This is the percentage of students who participate in before- or after-school programs or activities. Students are only counted for one activity which provides an unduplicated count. The number is calculated by dividing the unduplicated participation count by the total enrollment.

STUDENT PERFORMANCE INDICATORS

Assessments
Performance on State Tests – High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA), Grade Eight Proficiency Assessment (GEPA), Elementary Proficiency Assessment (ESPA) and New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge 4 (NJASK4)

The statewide assessment system comprises state tests that are designed to measure student progress in the attainment of the Core Curriculum Content Standards. Under state law, testing is required at three levels – grades four, eight, and eleven. The test results in this report card reflect the state testing requirements and constitute the state assessment summary for all students and the various subgroups for the 2001-02 and 2002-03 school years.

Under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), states are required to assess student progress in language arts and math in grades 3-8. The Department of Education is currently under contract for assessments to be developed in the grades where there is no state testing currently.

In this report card, the data for the fourth-grade test come from the former Elementary School Proficiency Assessment (ESPA) that was last administered in the spring of 2002 and the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge 4 (NJASK4) that was administered for the first time in the spring of 2003.

Schools that have 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 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 to be issued prior to the opening of school. 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. The February assessment results have had no restrictions applied to them. These results are the state summary results for all students that also have been disaggregated for various subgroups.

State assessments are implemented 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 Education’s 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 shows the percentages of students who met or otherwise satisfied the state testing requirements for graduation in several 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 students’ scores fell below that point and the rest were above. Under the 50th percentile, half of the students’ scores fell above that score and half fell below. In the 75th percentile, a quarter of the students’ scores were above that score and the rest were below. The source of the data is the Educational Testing Service.

Advanced Placement (AP)
This data is furnished by 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. The total who scored 3 or greater on the tests 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 Summary 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)
The NOCTI develops and administers national job-ready examinations that include both written and performance tests that measure a student’s 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.

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 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 grade 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. Based on the National Center for Education Statistics’ 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 regular high schools and vocational 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
These are percentages of students who were expelled from the school during the year. The percents are calculated by dividing the total number expelled by the total enrollment.

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

STAFF INFORMATION

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 in 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.

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.

Faculty Credentials (vocational schools, charter schools, and special education)
These are percentages of faculty members in the school who hold an academic degree and/or a license or certification in October of each school year.

Administrator and Faculty Degrees (regular elementary and secondary schools)
These are the percentages of administrators and faculty in the school possessing an academic degree(s) as of October each year. They are calculated by dividing the numbers of each academic degree by the total number of faculty and administrators.

National Board Certification
This shows the number of teachers who applied for and the number who achieved certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards during the school year. This rigorous certification is encouraged, but not required.

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 Turnover Rate (charter schools only)
This represents the rate that 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.

DISTRICT 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 of residence 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/2003/

Administrative and Faculty Personnel (for all but charter schools)
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.

District/Charter Budgets and Per-pupil Expenditures
There are two district-wide costs per pupil amounts for three years that correspond with 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.