Good News

Good News about NJ's Public Schools

Updated April 2015

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 for New Jersey 12th Grade Students Are Among the Nation's Best

No other states in the nation score statistically higher than New Jersey on the 12th Grade Math Exam. New Jersey public school seniors have the second highest score in the national in math on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP).

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.They out-performed students in Canadian Provinces and across Europe, including the highly rated Finland schools.

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.

Students’ Vocabulary Is Best in the Nation

No other state in the nation scores statistically higher than New Jersey in students’ ability to demonstrate their understanding of words as used in literary and informational texts on the 8th Grade Reading NAEP.

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.

Among the Lowest Dropout Rates in the Nation

Only one other state has a lower dropout rate among public high school seniors than New Jersey.

The Best Public Schools in the Nation

Using a wide range of factors, New Jersey public schools are ranked as #1 in the nation.

Leading the Country in Education Policy and Performance

Education Week ranks New Jersey public schools among the top 2 in the nation.

Leading the Country in Education

The Annie E. Casey Foundation ranks New Jersey public schools among the top 2 in the nation.

Leading the Country in Giving Children the Chance to Succeed

New Jersey ranks among the top 3 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 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 Educational Opportunities

New Jersey ranks among the top three states in the "Education Dimension" of the latest Opportunity Index, which is a state level index that rates opportunities that children have based on where they were born.

Leading the Nation in School Attendance

New Jersey is among the top two 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

Many more New Jersey students are getting high scores on their SAT college entrance examinations than ever before. The number of New Jersey high school students scoring 600 or higher each year on the Math SAT has nearly doubled since 1994.

Public School Students Outperform Private School Students on AP Exams

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

Public School Students Outperform Private School Students on AP Exams to Qualify for College Credit

New Jersey public high school students are more likely than private and religious school students to receive grades on AP exams high enough to qualify for college credit.

Best AP Scores in the Nation

New Jersey is nearly tied for first in the nation in the percentage of Advanced Placement (AP) exams taken by public high school students that result in scores high enough to qualify for college credit.

Highest 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.

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

The proportion of low-income New Jersey public high school students scoring 3 or higher on Advanced Placement (AP) exams has more than doubled in the past decade.

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

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.
  • Source: Lessons for de Blasio in New Jersey's Free Pre-K. New York Times. January 6, 2014.
New Jersey's pre-school programs in its largest urban school districts have been rated among the best in the nation. Rigorous studies have shown that New Jersey's high quality pre-school programs in its largest urban school districts are showing big long-lasting gains for children who attend.

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.

New Jersey is the Best in the Nation in Math Scores Among Students in African American and Hispanic Families

Statistically, no state out-performs New Jersey when it comes to the average 12th Grade Math NAEP scores among students in low income families.

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 nearly doubled since 2003.

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 in either the fourth or eighth grade Reading in NAEP among students in low income families.

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

The proportion of fourth graders scoring proficient or higher in fourth grade reading is up by nearly 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 nearly doubled since 2003.