New WHYY Post: Deciphering NJ’s School Performance Reports

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My column from today’s Newsworks:

If brevity is the soul of wit, then New Jersey’s School Performance Reports are funereal. Just two years ago the N.J. Department of Education’s annual profiles of the state’s 2,494 schools were terse two-page snapshots of test scores and graduation rates. Now our “School Performance Reports” have morphed into 15-page treatises that analyze achievement gaps, student growth percentiles, performance relative to peer groups, and proficiency trends.

If you’re a data junkie, you’ll love them. If you prefer your information in teaspoons, then not so much. But if you can bushwhack your way through the jargon, the School Performance Reports do indeed offer an opportunity to gauge your local school’s effectiveness.

Read the rest here.

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