TRENTON — New Jersey’s four-year high school graduation rate fell slightly last year, from 91 percent to 90.6 percent, according to state-issued annual report cards.
Deputy Education Commissioner Kathy Ehling told the State Board of Education last week that the decline is a common trend.
“About 26 states announced their rates for 2021, and the majority of those states — there were only six that hadn’t gone down,” Ehling said. “So we know that coming out of the pandemic, many states are going to report a decrease.”
Nearly one in five graduates of New Jersey’s high school class of 2021 qualified for degrees without actually meeting the state’s graduation requirements because Governor Phil Murphy waived them for graduating classes. 2020 and 2021 graduates due to the pandemic.
About 19% to 20% of students used the waiver to graduate in 2021, compared to 7% to 9% in 2020. Far fewer qualified using substitute tests such as the SAT, ACT, or Accuplacer, whose availability was limited due to testing limitations. centers, or through a review of their high school portfolio.
New Jersey now runs the calculations on its graduation rate in two ways — including one required by the federal government that subtracts about 2,200 special education students the state exempts from attendance and coursework rules.
Its federal rate stands at 88.5%, which Ehling said on the 2018-19 chart would have ranked the state seventh nationally, rather than fourth.
New Jersey students with disabilities who have complex needs may qualify for a degree even if they do not meet standard attendance and coursework requirements, if the student’s schools and family agree on this to develop his individualized education program.
But following federal oversight in 2018 of compliance with the Every Student Succeeds Act, the state can no longer count them in reports of graduation rates in Washington, Ehling said.
“For all students with disabilities, this change resulted in a federal graduation rate of 67%, compared to a state rate of 79%,” she said. “And the state rate, again, is the one that includes all students.”
For 63% of high schools, their federal graduation rate is lower than their state.
Ehling said another big change will be coming in the coming year, now that statewide graduation assessments are back. Students whose IEPs do not require them to pass the Leaving Assessment for graduation will also be removed from the graduation rate count.
Ehling said the state will work closely with districts to determine which path to graduation would be best for students — the state assessment, an alternate test, or a portfolio call.
New Jersey High School Graduation Rate
The lists below show the 4-year graduation rates for New Jersey public schools for the 2020-21 school year. The statewide graduation rate fell slightly from 91% in 2019-20 to 90.6%.
The lists, which are sorted by county and include a separate list for charter schools, also include a second graduation rate, which excludes students whose special education IEPs allow them to qualify for degrees even if they don’t. not meet the usual course and attendance requirements.
Columns with an asterisk or “N” indicate that there was no data or that it was suppressed to protect student confidentiality.
Michael Symons is the Statehouse Bureau Chief for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]
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Average SAT scores for all high schools in NJ, 2020-21
The average SAT scores for the 2020-2021 school year are listed by county, from highest to lowest. The data includes the combined score, as well as the average scores for the math and reading/writing sections.
Participation rates show the share of 12th graders in the class of 2021 who took the SAT in 2020-21 or in previous years.
Secondary schools are not listed if there is no data or if the number of participating students was low enough that average scores are not made public to protect student privacy.