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Christie Administration Releases High School Grad Rates

The NJ statewide graduation rate is 83%. Clark's rate is 97.79%.

The Christie Administration today released district and school graduation rates along with graduate pathway information.

For the first time, New Jersey has calculated its high school graduation rate using a new federally-mandated methodology for the 2011 cohort of students. This new methodology, called the “four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate,” is required of every state in the country and is puported to present a more complete and accurate way of calculating the high school graduation rate.

Under this new methodology, the New Jersey statewide graduation rate is 83%.

Rates in Patch towns in Union County — including Clark — are significantly higher:

  • Berkeley Heights — 96.46%
  • Clark — 97.79%
  • Cranford — 93.11%
  • New Providence — 97.70%
  • Scotch Plains-Fanwood — 96.61%
  • Springfield — 97.08%
  • Summit — 93.25%
  • Westfield — 97.20%

Find all statewide graduation rates here.

“As we look at these new graduation rates across the state, the question we must continue to ask ourselves is not only whether students are graduating from high school, but whether we are truly preparing them to be ready for the demands of the 21st century. These results reinforce the need for the new end-of-course assessments not only to increase the number of high school graduates, but to increase the number of graduates ready for college and career,” said Acting Commissioner Chris Cerf.

“We should approach these results with both confidence and humility," Cerf continued in a release. "We continue to be among the leaders in the nation, but we can still do more to make sure every child, regardless of zip code, has an equal opportunity in life.”

Because this is the first year that New Jersey is using the new methodology to calculate the graduation rate, direct comparisons to previous year’s rates are not possible.

As Governor Christie announced yesterday, New Jersey will be transitioning away from the High School Proficiency Exam (HSPA) to a new series of end-of-course assessments to better measure and prepare students to graduate high school ready for college and career. These new assessments will for the first time measure whether students can apply the knowledge they have learned to the real world, which will provide an incentive for schools to focus on critical thinking skills that are crucial to college and career readiness.

In spite of the fact that 82% of graduates in 2011 graduate from high school by passing the HSPA exam, 90% of students that matriculate to Bergen and Essex County Community College, and 1/3 of students matriculating to Rutgers, need remediation before taking a college course. The number of students passing HSPA, which is widely considered to equate to an 8th grade achievement level, is even lower in the state’s highest need districts.

Additional details about the methodology can be found on the US Department of Education’s website here.

Graduate pathway information can be found here.

The full release from the state is here.

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