Newark, NJ — February 7, 2007

Analysis of the 2006 standardized test results, released today in the State Report Card, shows that overall achievement levels in New Jersey’s high poverty “Abbott” districts are holding steady in the 4th, 8th, and 11th grades. Since 2002, however, gaps gave closed between the Abbott districts and the state average in 4th and 11th grade.

The analysis also shows several Abbott districts are excelling, moving to the state average and beyond. These include Garfield, West New York, Long Branch, Vineland, Phillipsburg, Hoboken, Union City and Gloucester City.

“While progress continues to be made in some areas, the Report Card data underscores the urgent need to evaluate what’s working in successful districts, and to identify best practices,” said David Sciarra, ELC Executive Director. The NJ Supreme Court first ordered an Abbott program evaluation in 1998, but the NJ Department of Education still has repeatedly failed to initiate this critical work.

Key Abbott findings from the 2006 Report Card include:

Grade 4

  • 66 percent passed the math exam, up from 64 percent in 2005. 2006 math results are a dramatic increase from only 42% passing in 2002.
  • West New York and Union City exceeded the state average on the math exam with 84 percent scoring at least proficient compared to 83 percent statewide.
  • 61 percent of all Grade 4 Abbott students tested met or exceeded proficiency on the language arts exam, down from 66 percent last year. About the same proportion passed the exam in 2006 as did in 2002.
  • The highest performing Abbott districts Grade 4 language arts exam were Garfield, West New York, Long Branch, Vineland, and Union City.

Grade 8

  • 48 percent of all Grade 8 students in the Abbott districts passed the language arts exam in Grade 8, holding steady with the 47 percent pass rate of 2005.
  • Hoboken exceeded state performance on both exams, with 86 percent passing the language arts exam (compared to 75% across New Jersey) and 75 percent passing in math (compared to 65% statewide).
  • 35 percent scored at least proficient on the math exam, about the same percentage of students who passed last year. Although too many students are still not passing, this represents an increase from the 28 percent who passed the exam in 2002.

Grade 11

  • 60 percent of all tested 11th graders passed the HSPA in language arts. This percentage has not changed since 2002.
  • Phillipsburg exceeded the state average of 84 percent passing on the Grade 11 language arts exam with 86 percent passing
  • 49 percent scored at least proficient on the math exam, about the same percentage as passed the test in 2005. The pass rate represents a dramatic improvement since 2002 when only 39 percent passed the test.
  • Both Phillipsburg (79%) and Gloucester City (77%) exceeded the state average of 76 percent passing on the math portion of the Grade 11.

ELC is conducting further analyses of this data. Look for more information in the coming weeks.

To View the State Report Card:

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Press Contact:
Sharon Krengel
Director of Policy, Strategic Partnerships and Communications
973-624-1815, x240