New Jersey has clear goals for college and career readiness and proficiency.
New Jersey has a vision of every child graduating college and career ready, and it aims for 80 percent of its students to be proficient in reading and math by the year 2030. To set this goal, it reviewed current assessment data with stakeholders and looked at achievement trends in recent years. The state gives a rationale for choosing 2030 as the end target; the year students entering kindergarten in 2017-18 will graduate from high school.
New Jersey has the same end goals for all students – and is asking for more progress for lower-performing groups.
The state has articulated annual benchmarks for each subgroup and will also apply the same methodology to individual schools. It is unclear, however, if these goals are equally ambitious and attainable for all groups, because some subgroups are closer to meeting the goals than others. Given the long timeline between now and 2030, it is unclear what the state plans to do when groups reach their goal before then.
New Jersey deserves additional credit for looking at the full range of student performance.
In addition to its proficiency goal, the state has set goals for the percentage of students performing at the “approaching” proficiency standard, as well as for students reaching an advanced (exceeding expectations) level.
It is not clear if the state’s postsecondary institutions have agreed to the state’s chosen cut scores as being an accurate measure of college readiness, but New Jersey’s plan would be even stronger if the state aligned its indicators with its vision of college and career readiness for every student (e.g., including a measure such as postsecondary enrollment without the need for remediation).
New Jersey has set a graduation rate goal of 95 percent by 2030.
Since the overall graduation rate is currently 90 percent, it seems realistic and feasible – but not necessarily ambitious – that New Jersey would meet its goal by 2030.
New Jersey’s growth-to-target model for English language learners is attainable and realistic.
The approach is informed by research and individualized by the student’s starting level of proficiency but also sets an expectation for when a student should reach proficiency.