The NJ Department of Education released its annual School Report for the 2009-2010 school year yesterday. These annual report cards contain detailed statistical profiles of all traditional public and charter schools in the areas of school environment, student information, student performance indicators, staff information, and district and charter financial information.

The method is explained on the website: “To make valid comparisons, the Department compares similar districts, but the Report Cards include spending only on categories shared by all districts. For example, some districts do not have transportation costs, and so no transportation costs are included in per pupil comparison spending. This Departmental policy, which has been evolving over the past 15 years, is currently under review.”

We decided to compare the following:

  • Class size
  • Percentage of students with IEPs (Individualized Education Program), which falls into the Students With Disabilities category
  • Percentage of students with Limited English Proficiency
  • Average SAT scores
  • Percentage of students present on average each day
  • Total drop out rates
  • Graduation rates
  • Percentage of graduating seniors pursuing various self-reported post-high school plans.
  • Total cost per pupil

Here is a chart showing side by side data of Baristaville High Schools. Click on image for a larger view:


To view the complete reports, as well as see state averages and how schools did in the past,  click here.

32 replies on “NJ School Reports: Baristaville High Schools Compared”

  1. Wow, some eye opening numbers here.These are without transportation costs? Some of those IEP percentages appear to be quite high too.

  2. In Bloomfield – alot of it is the parent’s fault. They yell and scream at the kids to do better. But, they do not SHOW them HOW to do better!
    Our son went thru the Blmfd. System and today, at age 26 he is a CPA employed by a Fortune 500 Corporation in NYC. In addition he is ALSO in Law School, to add LLB to CPA. Hardest working person, under age 30 I have ever known.
    Day begins at 7AM train to NYC at 8AM Out of work at 5:00PM Actually eats while walking a few blocks to N.Y. School of Law – starts at 6 PM gets out at 9PM then he self-studies at the Law Library until 10:30 and takes the train home, arriving at the Blmfd. station at 11:50 PM Repeat 5 days a week. On Saturday he goes BACK to NYC to study in the Law library, all day!
    In the world we live in, today…it takes THAT kind of commitment to make THE BIG $$$ – I could not do – what he does. The school system (public) only prepares students for the next 10 years of school (college,) master’s degree and/or Law, medical school, accounting, designing, etc. Sadly, today with a HS deploma, you cannot do very much, unless you get lucky. I have a friend who QUIT high school in is Jr. year. Today he is a multi-millionaire. He got lucky. (He went to IRVIGTON HIGH !!!!)

  3. I would think that the question about “Percentage of graduating seniors pursuing a four-year college / university” would speak much more to the financial status of the family than to the quality of education the schools deliver. I also think the SAT scores could be influenced by the family’s economic status; if you know there is no money for college, why bother to try and excel on the tests? There certainly isn’t any money for the private tutors so often hired to improve SAT scores.

  4. No $$ for college, I CAN understand that – but they can go to trade school.
    Efver heard of an electrician with no work? A gardner that plows in the winter, that has nothing to do? How about a commercial painter? He can go paint old victorians sunburst Orange !

  5. This is America, you don’t need money to go to college. In fact, the less money you have, the better opportunities you have for financial aid! And btw, Union electricians have been out of work since the new meadowlands stadium finished over a year ago. But you are right, people will always need light, heat, water, and snow removal

  6. Sandy:
    trade schools are 2yr schools, not 4yr colleges or universities. I think that’s why Montclair’s is so low, b/c a lot of students go to CC or trade schools, not 4 yr schools.

    I think median household income and racial/ethnicity percentages would be helpful to compare along with this information.

  7. I see examples on a daily basis on why we shouldn’t even bother with a school system in Bloomfield. Yesterday it was the foul mouthed trio trying to cross the Ave. They didn’t know the meaning of red light vs green light or how to pull up their pants. They also didn’t seem to know you could breath with your mouth shut (that will make a great college interview, boxers hanging out, mouth hanging slack jawed.)

    Let’s had them shovels and put them to work filling in potholes while they are cheap to employ. “Book learning” seems too lofty a goal for a generation who can’t figure out how to wear pants.

  8. Conan, I think the correct way to interpret the percentage of seniors seeking a 4 year colllege education, particularly as it relates to Bloomfield, reflects more on the concentration of families involved in the trades. There is a greater concentration of family run, and small businesses, i.e. contractors, painters, electricians. All skilled and most successful. You can get all of the practical business and math skills at the community need to study Kierkegaard.

  9. I agree that having more data would help people interpret some of these numbers–like median income, ethnicity, etc. We are not comparing apples and apples here.

    How about adding in Verona, West Essex, and some other towns?

  10. Bloomfield needs this Man:


    Dennis Prager, a principal at a high school in Redding, California, on the first day of classes in 2010:
    To the students and faculty of our high school:
    I am your new principal, and honored to be so. There is no greater calling than to teach young people.
    I would like to apprise you of some important changes coming to our school. I am making these changes because I am convinced that most of the ideas that have dominated public education in America have worked against you, against your teachers, and against our country.
    First, this school will no longer honor race or ethnicity. I could not care less if your racial makeup is black, brown, red, yellow, or white. I could not care less if your origins are African, Latin American, Asian, or European, or if your ancestors arrived here on the Mayflower or on slave ships.
    The only identity I care about, the only one this school will recognize, is your individual identity — your character, your scholarship, your humanity. And the only national identity this school will care about is American. This is an American public school, and American public schools were created to make better Americans.
    If you wish to affirm an ethnic, racial, or religious identity through school, you will have to go elsewhere. We will end all ethnicity-, race-and non-American-nationality-based celebrations. They undermine the motto of America , one of its three central values — E Pluribus Unum –“from many, one.” And this school will be guided by America ‘s values.
    That includes all after-school clubs. I will not authorize clubs that divide students based on any identities. This includes race, language, religion, sexual orientation, or whatever else may become in vogue in a society divided by political correctness.
    Your clubs will be based on interests and passions — not blood, ethnic, racial or other physically defined ties. Those clubs just cultivate narcissism — an unhealthy preoccupation with the self — while the purpose of education is to get you to think beyond yourself. So we will have clubs that transport you to the wonders and glories of art, music, astronomy, languages you do not already speak, carpentry, and more. If the only extracurricular activities you can imagine being interested in are those based on ethnic or racial or sexual identity, that means that little outside of yourself really interests you.
    Second, I am not interested in whether English is your native language. My only interest in terms of language is that you leave this school speaking and writing English as fluently as possible. The English language has united America ‘s citizens for more than 200 years, and it will unite us at this school. It is one of the indispensable reasons this country of immigrants has always come to be one country. And if you leave this school without excellent English-language skills, I will have been remiss in my duty to ensure that you are prepared to compete successfully in the American job market. We will learn other languages here — it is deplorable that most Americans only speak English. But if you want classes taught in your native language rather than in English, this is not your school.
    Third, because I regard learning as a sacred endeavor, everything in this school will reflect learning’s elevated status. This means, among other things, that you and your teachers will dress accordingly. Many people in our society dress more formally for a meal at a nice restaurant than they do for church or school. These people have their priorities backwards. Therefore, there will be a formal dress code at this school.
    Fourth, no obscene language will be tolerated anywhere on this school’s property — whether in class, in the hallways or at athletic events. If you can’t speak without using the “F-word,” you can’t speak. By obscene language I mean the words banned by the Federal Communications Commission plus epithets such as the “N-word,” even when used by one black student to address another, or “bitch,” even when addressed by a girl to a girlfriend. It is my intent that by the time you leave this school, you will be among the few of your age to distinguish instinctively between the elevated and the degraded, the holy and the obscene.
    Fifth, we will end all self-esteem programs. In this school self-esteem will be attained in only one way — the way people attained it until the state of California decided otherwise a generation ago — by earning it. One immediate consequence is that there will be one valedictorian, not eight.
    Sixth, and last, I am reorienting the school toward academics and away from politics and propaganda. No more time will be devoted to scaring you about smoking and caffeine, or terrifying you about sexual harassment or global warming. No more semesters will be devoted to condom-wearing and teaching you to regard sexual relations as only or primarily a health issue. There will be no more attempts to convince you that you are a victim because you are not white, or not male, or not heterosexual, or not Christian. We will have failed if any one of you graduates from this school and does not consider him or herself inordinately lucky — to be alive and to be an American.
    Now, please stand and join me in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of our country. As many of you do not know the words, your teachers will hand them out to you.

  11. There are a lot of reasons for Bloomfield’s scores. Thankfully, it’s so far so good for my daughter. Sandy, your boy’s doing well. Congrats on that. The big question is what kind of car does he drive?

    There’s no formula for success or happiness.

  12. Thank God that speech was never given by a HS principal. Media literacy should be taught to all HS students with the hope they develop enough critical thinking skills and skepticism as adults to not believe every goddam thing they read on the internet.

    hrhppg (as in Pittsburgh Plate and Glass?), holy cow, you deserve an accolade for the most rotten post on Bnet in quite some time. You should be proud, that’s quite an accomplishment.

  13. hrhppg,

    You sound SO OLD with all that “pull up your pants” crap. I guess you also want boys to make sure their hair doesn’t fall below the collar, girls no skirts above the calf and no tattoos too, huh?

    But most of all, no negro music!!!

    For each generation, there is an older one who not only doesn’t understand the younger, but believes they will be scarred for life and NEVER find a job.

    Funny how that works. We’re on our 3rd pot smoking President. Freaks!!

    I say kids, wear your style, love your music and continue to piss hrhppg off.

  14. We should all keep in mind the cost per student amounts when inevitable suggestions to merge school districts come around. Larger is clearly not more efficient.

    And why does it cost 18k per student in W/O?

  15. Just from eyeballing these numbers, it looks to me like Bloomfield has a better school system than Montclair. Bloomfield students pull 100 points lower on SAT scores, and yet 50 percent attend 4 year colleges (to Montclair’s 70 percent). All this for $5000 less per pupil. Those teachers are punching above their weight.

  16. Am I the only one that finds it strange that schools are given awards for being adequate? What happened to “Outstanding Performance”, “Superior Performance” etc?

  17. I didn’t say anything about music prof or any bring up any racial slurs. Nice style you have there.

    Let them piss me off all they want – when I interview people the first thing I notice is their ability to master the wearing of pants. If your employer has different standards then they can all work with you and learn your colorful archie bunker type lingo.

  18. Sorry Sandy–that speech was not given by the principal of any school:

    Sorry. It was sent to me, by a friend who is a teacher. I just assumed it was correct.

    POSTED BY bebopgun | February 09, 2011 @ 9:06 pm
    There are a lot of reasons for Bloomfield’s scores. Thankfully, it’s so far so good for my daughter. Sandy, your boy’s doing well. Congrats on that. The big question is what kind of car does he drive?

    2010 Lexus All Wheel Drive (I do not like it the roof line, it’s too low and I bang my head every time I get in it, which is not too often. It is midnight grey.

  19. BHS has a “pants up around your waist” rule, but I suppose they can let them drop once they leave the school. Who really cares, though? They’re teenagers–I’m sure they’ll hoist them up at some point in their lives. Maybe when they’re seeking a job with you, hrhppg.

    Kevin, in a perfect world, all students should do well no matter what school they attend. But in a perfect world, there would be no such thing as a Title 1 school. Have to face reality, dude.

    But I like to imagine a perfect world. In my perfect world, I would ride a unicorn to work and my students would have read 2 chapters ahead and made an outline for each chapter.

  20. Tudlow, I understand the challenges involved in Title 1 schools however the reality is that when you start rewarding “adequate” performance, you will get just that.

  21. Oh yes, Kevin, I’m sure you have intimate knowledge of Title 1 schools and the challenges in educating children of poverty as well as what AYP means. Thank you, then, for your life lesson re: the perils of rewarding adequacy. I will be sure to pass your words of wisdom on–perhaps schools should now understand that they should have high standards for all students, regardless of socioeconomic class. What a novel idea, really, I haven’t heard anything even remotely like that in the world of education.

    PS I totally buy into the Pygmalion effect in the classroom. But you have to start somewhere and when the baseline is students that can’t read/comprehend proficiently and the outcome is an increase in the number of students that can, well, I think it should be acknowledged. And it’s not like a Title 1 school that gets acknowledged for increasing the number of students meeting AYP just rests on its laurels like you imply. If you have evidence that shows otherwise, please share it.

  22. (“Adequate” is a term of art used in NCLB as in “AYP” Adequate Yearly Progress. If you don’t like it, the time to scream was in 2001 when a bipartisan Congress created and passed the law, co-sponsored by Ted Kennedy and signed by Bush, though those who don’t like it tend to only mention Bush.)

    And hrhppg, I recognize that I tend to write at a high level, but you should understand that I was not referring to you with my comment about music or the use of “Negro,” which I do not find to be a slur. No. I was simply providing examples of how old you sound- much like those parents of the past- when you scream about the “kids today.”

    As for your hiring practices, you are free to do whatever you like. I don’t care. If you don’t want to hire someone because you don’t like of them- fine, so long as it’s not a pattern of discrimination against specific groups. But you realize that low slung pants is an age thing (like tattoos) and NOT a race or ethnic group thing, right?

    Finally, tudlow this link is for you- a story from Wednesday’s “All Things Considered” titled: “Why Do Girls Love Horses, Unicorns And Dolphins?”

  23. Tudlow, I am sure that my knowledge of Title 1 schools and the challenges of educating children of poverty and AYP pales in comparison to the vast knowledge you have accumulated in the past six months as a school volunteer. You might consider that this is more of a management issue since my comments were directed to the standards set by the State for recognition of the administration. Perhaps they might consider recognizing those who exceed standards rather than those who meet a minimum.

  24. Yes, Kevin, I’m a school volunteer. For the past six months I have been volunteering in the cafeteria by trying to get the kids to eat their vegetables. Oh, the things I have learned, let me tell ya! I now consider myself an expert.

    I guess you think you have something valuable to add to the conversation about education and Title I schools specificaly because you yourself are an expert. You went to school, right? But somehow you don’t seem to know what AYP means or to know that schools that exceed standards are recognized. I guess you know a lot about education policy, though, since you are a management expert.

    Okay, have to go hop on my unicorn to go sweep the floors of the caf in a Title I school that pats itself on the back for meeting the minimum standards. Nice chatting with you.

  25. Oh Tudlow, you have been hanging around those kids too long as your comments here are really quite childish.

  26. Too cold for my unicorn today, Kev. So, let me apologize not for my message but for my delivery. Sarcasm and snark isn’t very effective for getting one’s point across. And my point is this: There are many complaints, understandably so, about the state of Title I schools. Think Newark. Think of the students’ scores on HSPA and NJASK. And then when a Title I school starts to make some progress, here come the complainers about rewarding “adequacy.” It’s beyond tiresome and it’s completely pointless. As if not recognizing the school would somehow make it strive for “Outstanding Performance.” That’s a pretty fallacious argument.

    Am I an expert? No, Kevin, no I am not. But when it comes to gaining experience, building knowledge and moving toward one who has expertise, I’m guessing I’m a bit further along that road than you are.

  27. Btw, thanks prof, for the unicorn link. It’s funny–the first thing I wanted to be when I was little was a marine biologist so I could study dolphins.

    In fact, here is one of my all-time favorite t-shirts:

    Lovely, isn’t it? The first review is hilarious.

    Kevin, it helps to have a sense of humor when teaching high school kids. In fact, it helps to have a sense of humor in life in general. Give it a whirl.

  28. Not a problem Tudlow, snark and sarcasm are are sort of the price of admission here. I also extend my apologies to you for my snarky/sarcastic retorts. However, you have to realize there are other views. Like many in the business world, I see a growing divide in the skills necessary to successfully compete in the market and the capabilities that many young recruits bring to the table. It really is a problem finding qualified candidates. Also,as a taxpayer, I see ever increasing tax bill. So when I look at these school reports, the results are not meeting the needs or expectations, from my view.
    I guess the easiest analogy I can give you is when AT&T was having trouble with their cell service,none of us needed to be an expert in cellular network technology to realize that the service wasn’t meeting our needs. A simple analogy however I hope it does give you an understanding of my (and many others)perspective.
    I have been fortunate to have had several excellent teachers in my school years, so I do give teachers alot of credit. I’m sure that being locked up with a bunch of high school kids every day would surely drive me crazy. Have a great day and keep your unicorn away from the deer hunt.

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