Superintendent pleased with school test scores


Staff Writer

SOUTH BRUNSWICK — The report cards are in.

Superintendent Dr. Gary McCartney presented South Brunswick’s Quality Annual Assurance Report for 2003-2004, as required under the No Child Left Behind Act.

Under the law, the annual yearly progress standards, or AYPs, were created. These AYP standards are the percentage of students in a school district that must pass in both literacy and math, or the school risks penalties and sanctions.

The goal behind the No Child Left Behind Act is to ensure 100 percent proficiency of all students in literacy and math by the year 2014. Schools must meet those AYP standards or show a 10 percent decrease in the number of students failing. AYP standards increase each year.

Scores for AYP are reported for grades four, eight and 11, and include total population as well as sub groups. Sub groups include ESL, limited income and special education. Each sub group must have 35 or more students to be counted.

The New Jersey AYP standard for 2003-2004 in grade four showed 68 percent must pass literacy while 53 percent must pass math. For grade eight, AYP standards are set at 58 percent for literacy and 39 percent for math. Grade 11 AYP standards are 73 percent for literacy and 55 percent in math. Those standards are the percentage of students expected to pass.

The 2003 South Brunswick assessment for grade four showed 90 percent passed literacy and 82 percent passed math. In grade eight, 90 percent passed literacy while 75 percent passed math. Grade 11 reports showed 89 percent passed literacy and 76 percent passed math.

In 2004, grade four assessments showed 91 percent passed literacy with 79 percent passing math. Grade eight assessment showed 89 percent passing literacy while 78 percent passed math. In grade 11, 92 percent passed literacy and 80 percent passed math.

McCartney said it is important to remember that reports are comparing different groups of youngsters, and data may be different depending on grade.

“We are well above expectations, but it’s a moving target,” McCartney said.

When compared to New Jersey in literacy for 2004 for grade four, 91 percent of district students passed compared to an average of 82 percent for New Jersey. In grade eight, 89 percent of district students passed, compared to 74 percent from New Jersey. Grade 11 saw 92 percent of the students pass, compared to 82 percent from New Jersey.

Math results for South Brunswick compared to New Jersey for 2004 in grade four showed 79 percent of district students passed compared to 72 percent from New Jersey. In grade eight, 78 percent of South Brunswick students passed compared to 57 percent from New Jersey. For grade 11, 80 percent of South Brunswick passed compared to 70 percent statewide.

McCartney said South Brunswick has the environment, qualified teachers and determination, however, to continue to improve student performance.