Figure 1: Newark (district and charter) progress in English language arts and math compared with similar districts in New Jersey (Newark falls into District Factor Group A, which outlines the 37 most economically disadvantaged districts).But what if we just look at progress in traditional public schools? As the below chart shows, there were exciting gains in that sector as well—yet another compelling data point to suggest that the success of the charter sector did not come at the expense of traditional schools.
Figure 2: Newark Public Schools progress in English language arts and math compared with similar districts in New Jersey (Newark falls into District Factor Group A, which outlines the 37 most economically disadvantaged districts).No single data point or study ever tells the full story about student progress—another point of disagreement I have with Neerav’s piece. (See this MarGrady study.) So what else do we know about Newark’s progress over the past half decade?
- The high school graduation rate has increased dramatically from 2011 to 2017, improving at a faster rate than in the rest of the state—going from below 60 percent to above 78 percent during this time period.
- African-American students in Newark are three times more likely to attend a school with test scores above the state average today than they were in 2009.
- More generally, Newark schools made significant strides in closing the achievement gap with the state.
- This is especially evident on the state’s student growth percentiles (SGP), our official growth metric chosen as an alternative to “value added.”
- Citywide, Newark students significantly outperform comparable students in Washington, D.C., and the average for all students in New Mexico and Illinois (in reading). Newark students are also competitive with statewide averages in the states of Maryland and Colorado in both math and English proficiency.
- When looking just at students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunch, Newark outperforms nearly every other comparable city or PARCC state.