New Jersey’s latest school grades are out, giving parents in every community a snapshot of what the state thinks of their local schools.
The state Department of Education on Tuesday released the new scores, which are graded on a scale of 0-100 and consider standardized test results, graduation rates and other factors.
The scores, which critics have dismissed as oversimplified, are weighted to give the performance of minority and economically disadvantaged students equal importance as a school’s overall performance, making the grades somewhat less correlated to overall demographics.
The Edward H. Bryan School, a elementary school in Cresskill, received the highest score, a 97.5. The Eagle Academy for Young Men of Newark, a city all-boys school, received the lowest scores, a 1.4.
But you shouldn’t necessarily panic if your school’s score is low (or celebrate too much if the score is high).
State officials have downplayed the significance of the school grades, saying they don’t tell the whole story of a school’s performance.
“That’s a just a piece of the puzzle,” Diana Pasculli, an assistant education commissioner told the state Board of Education last week.
Schools that have third grade and higher received a score from 0-100 and well a percentile rating, which shows how they compare to other high schools or other middle/elementary schools. A 50th percentile rating is considered average.
Use the lookup tool below to see the score and percentile rating for each school.
How the ratings were calculated
Schools were scored on a several factors, including many required by the federal government. Here’s what counted:
High schools: Four-year graduation rate (20 percent), five-year graduation rate (20 percent), progress toward English language proficiency (20 percent) English proficiency (15 percent), math proficiency (15 percent), chronic absenteeism (10 percent)
Elementary and middle schools: English language arts growth (20 percent), math growth (20 percent), progress toward English language proficiency (20 percent), English language arts proficiency (15 percent), math proficiency (15 percent), chronic absenteeism (10 percent)