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ARCHIVE FOR JUNE 2011

NEW JERSEY REMAINS TOPS IN THE NATION IN HIGH

New Jersey’s high school graduation rate — 87 percent — remains the highest in the nation, a new Diplomas Count report released today shows.

That rate is almost five points below the 93 percent graduation rate listed in the New Jersey School Report Card for the 2007-08 academic year, the year on which this year’s Diplomas Count was based. But state officials said a new, more rigorous state reporting system is likely to bring future graduation rates closer to the Diplomas Count number.

The new state Department of Education system will require school districts to track the progress of individual students rather than use enrollment numbers to calculate the rate. Currently, the rate is the percentage of students overall who stayed in high school for four years. The new system will track individual students by an identification number.

The state also is preparing a new system of graduation tests designed to address concerns that graduates are not prepared for jobs or college.

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NEW JERSEY STUDENTS AGAIN FACE NO DIPLOMAS IF AHSA TEST NOT PASSED

Once again, thousands of New Jersey students could be in danger of not graduating unless they pass the state's alternative exit exam in coming weeks. The state Education Department declined to estimate how many are in jeopardy of not graduating this year, because the test-taking and appeals are continuing, said spokeswoman Allison Kobus. She said a total graduation rate will not be available until at least September…

Stan Karp, Director of the law center's Secondary Reform Project, faulted the state for not making information available sooner this year. "The lesson they've learned from last year is to sit on information until it's too late to do anything about it," he said. Karp also the state was not doing enough to address problems in the state's high schools. "We haven't seen any credible secondary reform effort," he said. "Obviously we're still having problems preparing students to graduate."

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NJDOE MISSES ‘MODEST GOAL’ FOR HIGH SCHOOL TESTS

Partial results for the Alternative High School Assessment (AHSA) indicate that even more students may not graduate this June than during last year's graduation crisis that saw an estimated 3000 fail to get diplomas.

According to a June 23 statement from the NJ Department of Education (NJDOE) [see attached] 3164 seniors who took the Math AHSA did not pass, and 3591 who took the Language Arts AHSA did not pass. In addition, an unknown number of seniors who need AHSA to graduate did not complete the assessment.

The Department has not disclosed the number of graduation appeals submitted in recent weeks under its new Educational Proficiency Plan process. Last year, about 1100 appeals were submitted by districts for students who did not pass the traditional High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) or the AHSA.

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