N.J. issues report card on schools, and it's more wide-ranging this year

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A screen image of the New Jersey Department of Education's School Report Card website.

The New Jersey Department of Education announced Tuesday it has posted its School Performance Report for the 2015-16 school year.

As in previous years, the report allows visitors to view the academic performance of any district or any school by grade level, but the new report includes a broad array of information not included in past years.

The latest provides data on faculty attendance, absenteeism, PSAT and ACT performance in addition to SAT scores, advanced placement and international baccalaureate counts, and the percentage of students concentrating in approved career and technical education programs.

The report no longer provides “peer school comparisons,” however, which compared each school’s data to a group of similar schools.

The report can be found online at https://rc.doe.state.nj.us/  

New Jersey has been releasing reports of school data since the 1994-95 school year, said David Saenz, spokesman for the board of education, but in past years these were issued online in static PDF versions that mimicked print. The new version appears “on a web-based interface with improved navigation,” said Saenz, and this “allows people to click on specific sections and do a search within a school’s report.”

The expansion of college entrance test scores and the inclusion of such data as faculty attendance and absenteeism was based on “feedback from educators and stakeholders,” said Saenz.

Data are submitted by the schools, which the department compiles. Visitors viewing the data for a particular school or district can also view how each compares to schools, grade levels or districts statewide.