According to the Christian Science Monitor, a study released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Education shows that New Jersey is a national leader in closing the achievement gap.
According to the Monitor, reading and math scores for all races have generally risen since the 1990s. Despite that overall progress, though, few states have narrowed the achievement gap between racial groups. However, the Monitor notes that “New Jersey narrowed gaps in both reading and math for fourth grade,” one of only three states in the nation to do so.
Michael Holzman, a research consultant with the Schott Foundation for Public Education, credits New Jersey’s progress to more equitable distribution of funding in high-poverty areas.
NJEA president Joyce Powell reacted to the report. "We won't be satisfied until all achievement gaps are eliminated. However, this progress report is encouraging, and vindicates New Jersey's commitment to investment in at-risk students. The results we see here should strengthen our resolve to keep pushing forward, no matter what the economy does and no matter what critics of public education say."
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More facts about New Jersey’s public schools
Study: Preschool students gain early edge
A growing body of research validates what educators have long known: children who attend high-quality preschool programs reap significant academic benefits.
A recent study of New Jersey’s preschools shows that students who attend them out-perform their peers in the early elementary years.
Gov. Jon Corzine hailed the report, noting, “New Jersey’s high-quality preschool system produces positive results and better prepares children for elementary school.” (See Corzine’s full statement.)
See the good things happening in New Jersey’s urban schools
Classroom Close-Up, NJ, NJEA and NJN’s Emmy Award-winning television program about New Jersey’s public schools, has highlighted many urban success stories.
o Urban Teacher Academy – The College of New Jersey offers an urban education course to high school students.
o MetEast – An experimental Camden school sends students to internships in varying locations, from mortuaries to hospitals.
o Dad & Me – Students and fathers from Trenton learn together about strategies that help the students succeed in school.