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Eugen Tarnow


    NJ School Performance Reports are surprisingly interesting

    Eugen G Tarnow  August 19 2016 04:40:48 PM
    By Eugen Tarnow, Ph.D.
    Avalon Business Systems, Inc.

    Last February the 2014-2015 school performance reports came out.  Here is a comparison between the high schools of two neighboring towns in New Jersey, Fair Lawn and Glen Rock.

    1.  Fair Lawn has not posted the report on its high school website for the last two years - the only link available is to the old 2012-2013 report which is announced as "now available".  Glen Rock does not post any link at all.
    2.  In English language arts/literacy the percentage who met or exceeded expectation was 57% in Fair Lawn and 42% in Glen Rock.
    3.  In Math the corresponding percentages were 43% (Fair Lawn) and 28% (Glen Rock).
    4.  The participation rate was 85% in Fair Lawn and 78% in Glen Rock, presumably indicating that the true difference in English and Math scores between Fair Lawn and Glen Rock may be larger.
    5.  Biology proficiency is 72% for Fair Lawn and 85% for Glen Rock.

    Let's think about that for a minute.  If Fair Lawn is generally better than Glen Rock in both English and Math, why should the Biology score be better for Glen Rock?  There seems to be a problem with the Fair Lawn Biology program.

    6.  The trend of meeting or exceeding expectations in English in Fair Lawn is downwards as students move from 9th to 11th grade: 60%, 54% and 36% in 11th grade.  Glen Rock has the same issue with a trend that goes 54%, 19% and 26%.

    The conclusion is that there seems to be a serious problem with the high school English program in both schools.

    7.  There is no such trend in Math, but the meeting or exceeding expectations in the Algebra 1 class of Glen Rock High School is a surprising 10%.  What is going on there?

    8.  The average SAT score was 1602 for Fair Lawn and 1744 for Glen Rock.

    Wait a minute.  Fair Lawn scores better in Math and English but when it comes to the SATs, Glen Rock wins hands down.  The SAT score seems to have nothing to do with the high school test scores!  Could it be that everyone in Glen Rock hires a tutor that is much better than its high school teachers?  Or do the Glen Rock students suddenly realize that they have to perform? How can Fair Lawn students copy that?
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