New Jersey Department of Education

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NJ SMART Education Data System

Student Performance

High School Graduation Rates and Status

Students throwing graduation capsIn 2005, the National Governors Association (NGA) introduced the 4-year adjusted cohort graduation rate calculation in an effort to move all states towards using a common calculation. The Adjusted Cohort formula has been deemed more accurate than other calculations in its ability to track student movement over time. In 2008, the federal government adopted NGA's formula and mandated that states calculate cohort rates beginning with 2011 graduates.
Through NJ SMART, the State of New Jersey met this 2011 mandate to determine the 4-year adjusted cohort graduation rates for schools and districts. This was later taken a step further by calculating 5-year graduation rates for graduation cohorts in addition to 4-year rates. This enhancement allows districts to view all of their students that graduated in four years along with any students that graduated in their fifth year.

LEAs can view their 4-year and 5-year Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate by accessing the High School Graduation Cohort Status Profile Report within the NJ SMART portal.  This profile report enables LEAs to track each individual student's progress towards graduation in real-time, identify emerging trends across a district based on student-level data, and analyze graduation rates by subgroup.

The Graduation by Assessment Report is an additional report tied to graduation calculations that is available to districts. This report allows districts to view the assessment pathway taken by students to earn a high school diploma.

If you would like to know more, please review the documentation posted on the Documents for Download page and the NJ DOE Graduation webpage at

Student Growth Percentiles (SGP)

graphStudent Growth Percentiles add a new dimension to our understanding of student performance, allowing New Jersey parents, educators, and students to look beyond a point in time status (NJ ASK proficiency) to also understand the change in achievement from one year to the next. By understanding a student's academic status and her or his growth, parents, teachers and students have more information to better inform reflection, discussion, and improvement of overall performance.  Please review the following video and documentation for more information on SGP; the blue headings will link you to that particular document.

SGP Video

This video is part of the NJ SMART educational series. This video provides viewers with a better understanding of what a student growth percentile (SGP) is, the concept of academic peers and how it relates to growth percentiles, how an individual SGP is calculated and interpreted, and how SGPs can be reported and interpreted for groups.

SGP – General Overview

This August 2011 white paper from the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessments (NCIEA) provides a 6-page overview of Student Growth Percentiles

SGP – Technical Overview of the Student Growth Percentile Methodology

This technical paper provides a detailed explanation of the statistical methodology used to calculate student growth percentiles

An Illustration of SGP Adoption in the United States

The Student Growth Percentile methodology is being used for diagnostic purposes in a number of states to better understand the effectiveness of programs, curricula, and policies on student achievement. This additional dimension to student achievement has also been adopted for district, school, and teacher evaluation as part of several Race to the Top applications and ESEA waiver initiatives across the country.

Post –Secondary Student Performance

Graduation cap and keyNew Jersey's public schools, colleges and universities are expected to prepare all students to meet internationally competitive standards of achievement, the escalating demands of the global 21st century workforce, and possess the knowledge and skills needed for a vital democracy.

Currently, many school districts rely upon exit and follow up surveys of their high school graduates in order to capture data related to post-secondary enrollment plans. In other words, most public school districts currently lack a mechanism to capture and analyze the actual post-secondary trends and accomplishments of their high school graduates. This winter, NJ SMART will be launching tools that will empower school districts with actual post-secondary enrollment data for their students. This information will be made possible through a data sharing relationship with the National Student Clearinghouse. Among some of the many benefits of this data, districts will be better able to: ascertain if their students are truly prepared to compete and persist in college; understand how many of their graduates actually enrolled in college the following fall; and how many students achieved a degree within four or five years of graduation.

Please revisit this page for additional information on these illuminating tools and resources as they become