The New Jersey School Boards Association commends the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) for releasing the state’s new School Performance Reports for the 2016-17 school year, which include more than two dozen new data elements and parent-friendly school Summary Reports.

The NJDOE had conducted a survey and held many meetings with all education and parent associations, and other entities to receive input on what type of information should be displayed about New Jersey public schools. They received feedback from over 5,000 New Jersey residents and the new report reflects information about the quality of students’ educational experiences.

Members of the school community are encouraged to use the reports by asking questions pertaining to success, progress and need for improvement.

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.

New federal requirements contained in the report include more information than ever before. Users will find new data elements, such as teacher and administrator experience; in-school and out-of-school suspensions; industry-valued credentials; and preschool and kindergarten offerings.

Summative ratings based on a formula that combines a few key measures (i.e., proficiency, student growth, graduation and chronic absenteeism) are also included as 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.

The NJDOE continues to seek input on how to further improve the implementation 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.