New Jersey Public Schools Rank Number 1 In The Nation

For the second consecutive year, New Jersey public schools ranked number 1 in the country, according to Education Weekly, which considers dozens of factors.

The ranking comes despite a school year ravaged by the pandemic, which hit New Jersey harder than nearly any other state.

According to the Quality Counts 2020’s final grading of the nation, which rates states based largely on the most recent federal and state data, gives New Jersey a grade of B- and a score of 87.3 out of a possible 100 points.

Massachusetts, whom New Jersey knocked out of the top spot last year, is second, posting the only other B-plus grade at 86.7. By contrast, New Mexico receives the nation’s lowest score of 66.5 and a D-plus.

The report provides overall grades and scores based on 39 indicators in three broad categories developed by the EdWeek Research Center: Chance for Success, School Finance, and K-12 Achievement.

Looking at some of the categories individually, New Jersey finished second for indicators measuring student achievement in the K-12 years and fifth for success in adulthood but 17th on metrics gauging the degree to which children are prepared to start school.
And looking at the percentage of dependent children whose parents are fluent English-speakers, New Jersey came in at 47.

Governor Murphy, whose school reopening plan has drawn criticism from the teacher unions, said on Twitter that he “couldn’t be prouder.”

“As we begin a school year unlike any other, I couldn’t be prouder that New Jersey’s public schools are ranked #1 in the nation for the second year in a row,” he wrote. “Working together, I know we’ll make it three years in a row!” he added.

According to the report, New Jersey retained its number one ranking largely due to its continued strength in school finance.

“The Garden State expanded its razor-thin margin over Massachusetts, its nearest rival in the overall rankings, from a few hundredths of a point in 2019 to nearly a whole point this year,” the report says. “It maintained its 5.9-point advantage in school finance and cut into the Bay State’s lead in the two other graded categories. In 2019, it trailed Massachusetts by 2.4 points in Chance for Success and by 3.4 points in K-12 Achievement but now falls behind by 2.1 and 2.0 points, respectively.”

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