NJ Student Test Scores Show Slight Improvement

TRENTON – Overall student performance held steady or showed a slight improvement, according to results from the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJ ASK) and the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) for the 2010-11 school year released today by the Department of Education.

“Overall, New Jersey students continue to perform at extremely high levels overall, and with few exceptions the statewide numbers continue to inch upwards,” said Acting Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf.

In 2010-11, 75.5 percent of students passed the math section of the NJ ASK, compared to 73.1 percent in 2009-10; 75.2 percent passed the math section of the HSPA, up from 74.1 percent. On the language arts literacy section, 66.5 percent passed the NJ ASK in 2010-11 (down slightly from 66.6 percent in 2009-10), while 89.6 percent passed the HSPA (up from 87.1 percent in 2009-10).

Despite these overall results, Cerf pointed out a “a persistent achievement gap that leaves our economically disadvantaged, African American, and Hispanic students far behind their peers. It is a disgraceful legacy in New Jersey that leaves tens of thousands of students behind each year – and has for decades. We must be honest with ourselves and our communities about this achievement gap, and be impatient and relentless in doing everything we can to close it once and for all.”

According to the state Department of Education, economically disadvantaged students score 31 percentage points lower than their peers in language arts literacy and 24 percentage points below their peers in math. Both of these achievement gaps have persisted over time. Hispanic students score 27 percentage points below their peers and African American students score 33 percentage points below their peers in language arts literacy. In math, Hispanic students score 20 percentage points below their peers, and African American students score 31 percentage points below their peers.

Students take the NJ ASK in grades 3 through 8 in both LAL and math. The scoring scale for all grade tests is 100-300. Students achieving a score of 200 are deemed proficient; students achieving a score of 250 or greater are deemed advanced proficient. Students take the HSPA in 11th grade, with three opportunities to pass the test.

Assessment results can be found at the link below: http://www.state.nj.us/education/schools/achievement/2012/

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