Local Schools Report Cards Show Progress in Spending
Test results prove a more mixed bag.
Update: On June 4, the Warren Township School District issued a summary review of the report card, which has been uploaded to this article.
Original story: The New Jersey Department of Education released the Schools Report Cards for the 2010-2011 school year, Thursday.
The annual report details school and district performance in a number of areas, including school spending, performance on standardized tests, and whether meeting annual requirements for progress.
Warren schools reported a total cost per pupil of $17,997, down from the previous year's $19,144, but still about 10.6 percent more—$1,916—than the average of comparable districts.
The report cards also show 8 percent and 4 percent decreases in the percentage of total district spending for salaries for teachers and administrators, respectively, from the 2009-2010 school year. According to Superintendent Tami Crader, the difference is primarily due to the departure of older employees being replaced by lesser paid, younger employees, and reduced staff number due to declining enrollment in the district.
"In general, we do well, our students do well and we are efficient," Dr. Crader said. "The tax dollars that we spend go for high quality instructors and the classroom."
Test scores varied widely from grade to grade, and school to score—the accompanying table compares local and area schools' results noting the test scores for students scoring only "Partially Proficient" on the state tests, indicating the level of poorer performing students (declines in the number of partial proficient students shows an overall gain for the school's scores). It's not uncommon for the scores on the tests to fluctuate from year to year.
This article was edited to clarify the change in percentages for salaries and add Dr. Crader's comments.