At the event, Cerf revealed a new and terrible statistic: New Jersey places 5th in the nation in terms of overall student achievement, yet at the same time is 47th in terms of the size of achievement gap between economically advantaged vs. disadvantaged students. This means that while the state consistently delivers great education to privileged students, it consistently fail those with less resources. The gap has not changed over the last three decades.
Here are some other statistics about Newark – Cami sure has a tough job, but I know she's up to it:
Newark public schools info
• About 39,000 students in 74 schools
• $951 million budget (the vast majority of funds come from the state)
• Cost per pupil = $22k (some estimates go up to $25k, the district claims $17k – they do pass through funds to charters and private pre-K providers, but that still does not drop the number to $17k)
• Nearly 1 in 2 students drop out of high school. (55% graduation rate)
• Less than one in four 9th graders will earn a diploma in four years via the regular graduation exam (22%). The state exam tests on an 8th grade level internationally. Most students that do graduate pass via a watered down alternative exam.
• 41% of students across tested grades are proficient in Language Arts; 48% are proficient in math.
• Newark performs about 25 points behind the state average in Language Arts and math.
• Only 21% of high school graduates enrolled in a four-year college. (08-09 school year)
• At Essex County College, almost 90% of Newark's incoming freshmen required reading remediation and 98% required math remediation.
• Across the wards, there are great discrepancies in the quality of schools. The South Ward has the most challenged schools. The East Ward has the highest performing schools.
• Current charter enrollment = 6,400 students in 15 schools with 24 campuses (14% of Newark's public school student population)
• Next year's charter enrollment = an estimated 8,500 students in about 25 charters with 30 campuses next year (19% of total public school population)
• Waitlist numbers = about 11,000 students (about 1 in 4 of Newark's students)
• Cost per pupil = about $15.3k
• Every charter high school in Newark outperformed the Newark average on the state exam, and 8 out of 9 charter schools (89%) outperformed the district average on the 8th grade NJASK.
• Newark Public Schools have been under state control since 1995. There has been minimal to no improvement in student achievement since then. While legislation was passed that determines how a district regains local control (known as QSAC), Newark does not appear close to regaining control.
• An Advisory Board was set up a few years after the takeover. 9 members comprise this board with 3 members elected annually (3-year terms).
• Cami is the 3rd superintendent in as many years.