With No Child Left Behind essentially off the books, welcome to New Jersey’s new age -- and labels -- for school accountability.
The Christie administration yesterday released the final list of schools that will be highlighted under new accountability rules that put heightened attention on the very lowest and the very highest achieving schools, while giving leeway to the vast middle.
Replacing the labels of “schools in need of improvement” in the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the new nomenclature will be Priority Schools, Focus Schools and Reward Schools. The lists total 370 schools in all, about a seventh of the state’s 2,500 schools.
Glenwood Elementary School and Millburn High School are listed among the Reward Schools for making big progress. Throughout the state, the Reward Schools are the top achievers, both overall and in terms of progress. Some may get money for their efforts.
The Priority Schools are the lowest of the low in terms of state test scores. These are the schools that the new rules are most meant to address, those that fall at the bottom 5 percent in overall performance over the past three years, most of them in urban districts and serving predominantly poor and minority populations. Twenty-three are in Camden, more than half of all schools in that district. More than a dozen are from Newark and Trenton.
In the Focus category, nearly 60 schools are included throughout the state for having the biggest achievement gaps, ones the administration said average over 40 percentage points. That means the highest achieving category of students -- typically white or Asian -- are seeing proficiency rates almost double the rate of achievement as the lowest.
Read the full NJ Spotlight story @ NJ Puts New Labels on Schools. A link to the final list is included.
NJ Spotlight is an online news service providing insight and information on issues critical to New Jersey.