As Gov. Chris Christie proposed changing the tests New Jersey students need to pass in order to graduate, the state Department of Education released data showing just 8 of 10 graduating seniors are passing the current test.
(Editor’s Note: Those numbers are higher in districts like Livingston and Millburn, which scored 98.2 percent and 97.4 percent respectively.)
Christie on Monday unveiled a plan to replace the High School Proficiency Assessment with end-of-course exams in language arts and math. The HSPA only measures skills at an 8th grade level, the governor said. The state may also recommend science and social studies tests.
The next day, the DOE released data showing the percentage of 2011 graduates in each district who passed the HSPA, as well as those who were exempt from taking it and those who completed an alternate assessment. Statewide, 82.2 percent of graduates had passed the HSPA, while 14.3 percent had completed the alternate assessment and 3.5 percent were exempt from testing.
While the state has tried in the past to limit the number of students exempt from passing the HSPA, there were 17 districts in which a majority of the students who graduated last year did not pass the test. Seven of those were Abbott districts, considered among the most disadvantaged in the state, and others were charter schools in Abbott communities.
Use NJ Spotlight's Interactive Map to see the data for most high school districts by clicking on a municipality (here). For example, below are data from several Essex County communities.
Pct passing HSPA: 97.4%
Pct exempt from HSPA: 1.0%
Pct who appealed or passed an alternate assessment: 1.6%
Pct passing HSPA: 98.2%
Pct exempt from HSPA: 0.2%
Pct who appealed or passed an alternate assessment: 1.5%
West Orange Township
Pct passing HSPA: 81.6%
Pct exempt from HSPA: 5.2%
Pct who appealed or passed an alternate assessment: 13.1%
South Orange Village
Pct passing HSPA: 84.0%
Pct exempt from HSPA: 2.4%
Pct who appealed or passed an alternate assessment: 13.5
Pct passing HSPA: 82.9%
Pct exempt from HSPA: 4.5%
Pct who appealed or passed an alternate assessment: 12.6%
Read the full story in NJ Spotlight @ Interactive Map.
NJ Spotlight is an online news service providing insight and information on issues critical to New Jersey.