Good News

Good News about NJ's Public Schools

Updated April 15, 2014

NAEP Assessments

Achievement Scores and Growth Are Among the Nation's Best

Looking at all grades and across subject areas for all students, New Jersey’s track record is second in the nation in performance and improvement on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

Reading Scores Are Among the Nation's Best

No other state in the nation scores statistically higher than New Jersey on the fourth grade or eighth grade Reading Exam. Fourth graders in New Jersey public schools have the 5th highest scores in the nation in reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Eighth graders have the second highest.

Reading Scores Are Up

The proportion of New Jersey public school fourth graders and eighth graders who scored at the highest two levels in reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) increased by a quarter (27% and 24% respectively) since 1994. Eighth graders increased by 21% since 2003, the first year New Jersey started participating in NAEP for eighth grade reading.

Reading Score Increases Are Among Best in Nation

New Jersey is among the top seven states in increases in fourth grade NAEP Math scores from 2003 to 2011.

Math Scores Are Among the Nation's Best

Only three other states in the nation score statistically higher than New Jersey on the fourth grade Math Exam. New Jersey public school fourth graders have the sixth highest score in the nation in math in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). New Jersey public school eighth graders have the second highest score.

Math Scores Are Among the World's Best

In a comparison of New Jersey’s eighth grade NAEP math scores with eighth grade math scores in countries world-wide, New Jersey public school students out-performed all but five Asian countries.

Math Scores Are Up

The proportion of New Jersey public school fourth graders who scored at the highest two levels in mathematics in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has nearly doubled since 1996. The proportion of eighth graders has doubled since 1996 to the highest level ever recorded in the state.

Writing Scores Are the Best in the Nation

New Jersey eighth graders rank #1—far above any other state in the nation—in writing in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

Science Scores Are Among the World's Best

In a comparison of New Jersey’s eighth grade NAEP science scores with eighth grade science scores in countries world-wide, only students in three Asian countries score higher than New Jersey public school students.

Good News Facts

High School Graduation Rate Is Among the Top 5 in the Nation

New Jersey is among the top five states in the nation in the percentage of public school students graduating high school.

The Best Public Schools in the Nation

A leading annual publication ranks New Jersey #1 in the country based on 19 factors that measure the quality of its public schools.

Leading the Country in School Achievement

New Jersey public schools rank among the top 3 in the nation in academic achievement.

Leading the Country in Giving Children the Chance to Succeed

New Jersey ranks among the top 2 states in Education Week's "Chance for Success Index," which measures a state's ability to give its children the greatest chance for success and shows that it is doing more in preparing young people for the challenges they will face as adults.

Leading the Nation in School Attendance

New Jersey is among the top 2 states in the nation in the average daily attendance of its public school students.

Students Getting Good Grades

Ninety percent (91%) of New Jersey students taking the SATs have high school grade point averages of "B" or better.

SAT Scores Are Rising

The proportion of graduating seniors getting high scores on the Math SAT has increased by 29% since 1994. (A high score is defined as 600 or above.)

Public School Students Outperform Private Schools on AP Exams

In New Jersey, public school students score higher than private school students on their AP exam.

Best AP Scores in the Nation

New Jersey is first in the nation in the average Advanced Placement (AP) score for public school students this year.

More Students Participating in AP Courses

The number of New Jersey public high school students taking and testing in an Advanced Placement (AP) course has increased by 56% in past 10 years.

More High School Students Scoring High Enough to Earn College Credit on AP Exams

The number of New Jersey public high school students scoring 3 or higher on Advanced Placement (AP) exams has increased 55% in the past 10 years.
  • Source: College Board. . 2014.

Many More African-American & Hispanic Students Participating in AP Courses

The number of African-American and Hispanic New Jersey public high school students taking and testing in an Advanced Placement (AP) course has nearly tripled in the past decade.

Many More African-American & Hispanic Students Scoring High Enough to Earn College Credit on AP Exams

The number of African-American and Hispanic New Jersey public high school students scoring high enough to earn college credit on Advanced Placement (AP) exams has nearly tripled in the past decade.

Many More Low-Income Students Participating in AP Courses

The number of low income New Jersey public high school students taking and testing in an Advanced Placement (AP) course has nearly tripled since 2003.

Many more Low-Income Students Scoring High Enough to Earn College Credit on AP Exams

The number of low-income New Jersey public high school students scoring 3 or higher on Advanced Placement (AP) exams has more than tripled since 2003.

Leading the Nation in the Number of Children Attending Preschool

New Jersey is one of the top two states in the nation in the percentage of 3 and 4 year olds who are enrolled in preschool.

Leading the Nation in the Number of Children Attending Public Preschool

New Jersey is among the top two states in the nation in the percentage of 3 year olds who are enrolled in public preschool.

Preschool Programs in New Jersey's City Schools Are Best in Nation

Pre-school Programs in New Jersey's City Schools Are Best in Nation: New Jersey's rigorous pre-school program for 3 and 4 year olds in its largest cities is held up as the early education model that other states should follow.

New Jersey Leads the Nation in Student Achievement and Growth Among Low-Income Students

Looking at all grades and across subject areas, New Jersey’s track record is second in the nation in low-income student performance and growth in performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

New Jersey Leads the Nation in Student Achievement and Growth Among African-American Students

Looking at all grades and across subject areas, New Jersey’s track record places it among the top states in the nation in African-American student performance and growth in performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

New Jersey Leads the Nation in Writing Scores Among Students in Low-Income Families

Among students in low income families, using the most recent data available, New Jersey ranks #1 in the nation in Writing Achievement scores—far higher than any other state.

New Jersey Is Among the Best in the Nation in Math Scores Among Students in Low-Income Families

Statistically, only one state out-performs New Jersey when it comes to the percentage scoring proficient or higher on the 8th Grade Math NAEP among students in low incomes families, and only three states out-perform New Jersey when it comes to the percentage scoring proficient or higher on the 4th grade Math NAEP.

Math Scores for 4th Graders in Low-Income Families Are Up Greatly

The proportion of fourth graders scoring proficient or higher in NAEP Math has increased more than five-fold since 1996.

Math Scores for 8th Graders in Low-Income Families Are Up Greatly

The proportion of eighth graders scoring proficient or higher in NAEP Math has more than doubled since 1996.

New Jersey Is Among the Best in the Nation in Reading Scores Among Students in Low-Income Families

Statistically, no state out-performs New Jersey when it comes to the percentage scoring proficient or higher on the eighth grade Reading in NAEP among students in low income families and only two states out-perform New Jersey when it comes to fourth grade Reading in NAEP.

Reading Scores for 4th Graders in Low-Income Families Are Up

The proportion of fourth graders scoring proficient or higher in 4th grade reading is up by over 50% since 2003.

Reading Scores for 8th Graders in Low-Income Families Are Up

The proportion of eighth graders scoring proficient or higher in 8th grade math has increased by 25% since 2003.