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New Ed Trust Report on Achievement Gap Highlights New Jersey’s Progress
Education Commissioner Lucille E. Davy today welcomed a new report by the Education Trust as further evidence that New Jersey is making strides in narrowing gaps in achievement on standardized tests without sacrificing progress of individual student groups.
The recently released four-pronged analysis, titled “Gauging the Gaps, A Deeper Look at Student Achievement,” recognizes New Jersey as one of the top states in closing the achievement gap between low-income or minority students and their peers. The Education Trust listed New Jersey as one of the top states in progress for all groups of students over time and for group performance compared across states.
“The Education Trust’s latest report confirms that New Jersey is closing the achievement gap while making gains among all groups of students. Likewise, our low-income and minority students are outperforming their peers in other states,” said Commissioner Davy. “This analysis shows that New Jersey is a leader in closing the achievement gap among students, but our job is not done until all children are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to compete in the 21st century global marketplace.”
The new report examines reading and math test score data for fourth and eighth graders under the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) – the only standardized test that allows for direct comparison across states – from four perspectives: simple gap narrowing; progress for all student groups; gap size; and group comparisons across jurisdictions.
Eight states, including New Jersey, and the District of Columbia were recognized as top states for achieving progress for all student groups under NAEP’s reading and math scores for both grades four and eight. New Jersey was one of six top states for having low-income and minority students who perform substantially higher on all areas of NAEP than their peers in other states.
The Education Trust report examined the NAEP data through four perspectives “to gain a more sophisticated, comprehensive, and accurate picture” of the nation’s achievement gap.
The full text of the new Education Trust report can be found at: http://www.edtrust.org/dc/publication/gauging-the-gaps-a-deeper-look-at-student-achievement.
A-List Education Incorporates Teacher Training into New Breed of SAT Program at Two New Jersey High Schools
A-List Collaborates with Paramus High School and North Bergen High School on Unique SAT Programs Offered at No Cost to Students
A-List Education (A-List) has launched SAT consulting and teacher training initiatives at Paramus High School (Paramus) and North Bergen High School (North Bergen) of New Jersey. The training programs equip the schools with the resources necessary to manage their own, in-house SAT preparation courses that can be offered free of charge to their students. This arrangement allows Paramus and North Bergen teachers, who have first-hand knowledge of students’ proficiencies, to build on their relationships with students and provide them with an SAT program that is fundamentally tailored to their needs.
In the past, A-List has run successful SAT courses using its own instructors at tri-state area high schools including Dumont High School in New Jersey. Here, A-List developed a strong, working relationship with the Dumont School District’s then superintendent, Dr. James Montesano. Looking to build on the success of the Dumont program, where many students’ SAT scores increased in excess of 150 points, Dr. Montesano welcomed A-List into Paramus, where he is currently superintendent of schools. This time Dr. Montesano asked A-List to work directly with teachers to create a customized SAT program implementing A-List’s materials and methodologies, enabling teachers to utilize them with each new junior class.
“Most students can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars on test preparation,” Scott Farber, president and co-founder of A-List said. “Schools can play a vital role and by training their teachers can offer outstanding SAT instruction at no cost to their students. It’s our hope to bring this program to high schools across the nation and to level the playing field.”
The program begins with senior A-List instructors conducting extensive seminars for the schools’ English and math teachers, equipping them with the content and strategies necessary for students to master the SAT. Teachers receive The A-List Book of Knowledge and companion teaching aids that offer explanations of answers and give detailed pedagogical reasoning about what types of mistakes students make and how to correct them. Students use A-List’s Vocab Videos, an innovative online vocabulary system, to learn more than 500 of the most frequently tested SAT words. Throughout the program, A-List provides the schools with detailed score reports that assess each student’s progress, indicate to teachers where a student is struggling, and suggest techniques to help improve scores. In addition, A-List consults with Paramus and North Bergen administrators to develop a customized curriculum and course structure, ensuring the program fits seamlessly into the school day.
“I’ve seen firsthand what A-List can do,” said Dr. Montesano, superintendent of schools, Paramus, NJ. “A-List’s SAT teacher training program allows the district to leverage its own assets and to institutionalize A-List’s proven approach to test prep. Their comprehensive materials and Vocab Videos are extraordinarily effective resources. Students, teachers, and the Paramus School District will all benefit from this program.”
Both Paramus and North Bergen high schools now have the capabilities to develop sustainable, high-quality programming that they can offer at no cost to their students through the A-List approach to in-school SAT programs.
For more information about Paramus High School, please visit http://www.paramusschools.org/ppsd/
For more information about North Bergen High School, please visit http://www.northbergen.k12.nj.us/northbergen/site/default.asp
Joseph Jingoli & Son: Award Winning Schools for New Jersey
Joseph Jingoli & Son, Inc. has announced that three of the New Jersey schools the company built in 2009 were honored with 12 state, regional and national awards.
Schools the 90-year old company built in Trenton, Vineland and East Orange were recognized a dozen times in 2009:
TRENTON DAYLIGHT/TWILIGHT HIGH SCHOOL
- Building Design and Construction: 26th Annual Reconstruction Awards Bronze
- School Planning and Management: Council of Educational Facility Planners (CEFPI) Economic Impact Award
- International Masonry Institute: NJ Golden Trowel Awards - Special Recognition
- Real Estate and Construction and Review: Tri-State Building America Top 100
- Landmarks Commission for Historic Preservation - City of Trenton 2008 Historic Preservation Award
VINELAND DEMONSTRATION SCHOOL
- School Planning and Management: CEFPI - 2009 Impact on Learning - Economic Impact Award
- International Masonry Institute: NJ Golden Trowel Award: Best in Category, Elementary School
- Learning by Design / School Community Center / Joint use Facilities
- Real Estate and Construction Review - Tri-State Building America Top 100 - Building Design and Construction: Annual Building Team Awards - Special Recognition
EAST ORANGE CICELY TYSON COMMUNITY SCHOOL
- International Masonry Institute: NJ Golden Trowel Awards - Special Recognition
- NY Construction - Best of 2009 - Educational Facilities
The education facilities were designed as community crossroads where learning, recreation and community programming would foster economic development as a significant component.
Each school has a specific curriculum and focus - from fine arts and music to integrated technology focusing on workforce preparation and enhancement, well beyond traditional back-to-work programs.
To build such broad-based schools, each required a comprehensive, multi-faceted team to accomplish everything from site acquisition and property assembly to complete fit out of the new and adaptive reuse buildings with furniture, fixtures, equipment, and state of the art technologies - a total turnkey approach.