New Jersey

Academic Achievement

Relative to other states, student performance in New Jersey is very strong—the state ranks among the highest in the nation. Forty-six percent of 8th graders are at or above the proficient level on the NAEP reading exam, 11 percentage points above the national average.

Academic Achievement for Low-Income and Minority Students

New Jersey earns a very high grade on academic achievement for low-income and minority students. Thirty-four percent of Hispanic 8th graders score at or above the proficient level on the NAEP math exam, 13 percentage points above the national average.

Return on Investment

Student achievement in New Jersey is average relative to state spending after controlling for cost of living. 

Truth in Advertising: Student Proficiency

New Jersey posts above average marks on the credibility of its student proficiency scores. The grade is based on the difference between the percentage of students identified as proficient in reading and math on the 2011 state exams and the percentage identified as proficient on the 2011 NAEP reading and math tests.

Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness

New Jersey earns a very high grade preparing its students for college and careers. At 87%, the Garden State’s high school graduation rate is among the highest in the country. Its students have a relatively high chance for college attendance by age 19 compared with the national average.

21st Century Teacher Force

New Jersey does an above average job of creating a strong teacher workforce. It is particularly good at expanding the pool of teachers and identifying effective teachers.

Parental Options

New Jersey does a weak job providing parents with strong school choice options. The state has a decent charter school law but minimal school choice options for students.

Data Quality

New Jersey earns a good grade collecting and reporting high-quality education data. The state has policies to develop a longitudinal data system, and parents have access to data on their children’s academic progress.

Technology

New Jersey receives a poor grade employing technology to provide excellent instruction and personalized learning. Students have limited access to high-quality digital learning options.

International Competitiveness

New Jersey earns a very high grade preparing its students to compete in a global economy. Forty percent of students are proficient in reading and math compared with an international standard, and 13 students out of 100 pass an AP STEM exam.

Fiscal Responsibility

New Jersey receives very low marks on fiscal responsibility. Only 65% of the state’s pension is funded, and the state’s most recent contribution was a meager 39%.