February 10, 2011

Sat Scores

Over 97 percent of students who enter the Morris School District graduated from high school in 2010, according to the latest statistics in the New Jersey State Report Cards, released on Tuesday.

That is a full percentage higher than the class of 2009, which recorded a 96.3 percent graduate rate. The state average for 2009-10 was 94.7 percent, which also reflected an upward trend from the previous average of 93.3 percent.

The graduation rate was not the only figure that rose in the 2009-10 school year. Attendance rates in the high rose 1/10th a percentage point, from 94.9 percent to 95 percent.

The average SAT scores in mathematics also rose, while verbal and essay scores dropped slightly from 2008-09 to 2009-10, but remained about 30 points higher than the state average. Advanced placement in language arts literacy stayed nearly the same as in 2008-09, dropping from 24.9 percent to 24.2 percent, while math dropped a few percentage points, from 34.5 percent to 31.8 percent, yet also remained higher than the state average in 2009-10 of 18.7 percent for language arts proficiency and 24.3 percent for math.

In the middle school, eighth-graders saw a major uptick in NJASK scores for advanced placement in language arts literacy. From 2008-09 to 2009-10, percentages rose from 12.8 to 29.9, while partial proficiency (or failing) scores dropped from 12.5 to 9.6 in that same time period.

While eighth-graders saw major gains, sixth-graders saw major drops. In NJASK6 for language arts literacy, those with partial proficiency rose from 18.1 to 28.9 percent. In mathematics, that number rose from 17.5 to 22.7 percent.

Also climbing was the average cost to educate each student in the Morris School District. Already several thousand dollars higher than the state average in 2008-09 ($18,544 in the Morris School District versus $15,221 for the state), the 2009-10 report card saw the MSD average cost per pupil rise to $19,439, outpacing a state average gain to $15,538 per pupil.

In the high school, the number of students classified as "Limited English Proficiency" saw a large increase, from 10.2 percent in 2008-09 to 17 percent in 2009-10. Patch reported on the 2008-09 figures before current figures were released. At the time, Morris School District Administrative Assistant Mary Donahoe said the district's LEP population was small enough that the performance of just a few students can throw the percentages off significantly. Those 10.2 percent of LEP students who dropped out in 2008-09? Just five students, out of a group of 49. LEP students only account for 3.1 percent of the student population at Morristown High School, according to the 2009-10 figures.

Previously, Morris School District Board of Education president Lisa Pollack said five dropouts was still five too many.

"Our goal is always educational equity for all our students," she said. "We have the most diverse student body going in this area. That requires us to reach across a very large spectrum. That's our commitment."

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