2022 City Studies
Summary of Findings
This summary highlights major findings about students’ academic performance in public K-12 schools in Camden, New Jersey. Performance is measured by one-year learning gains or growth students made from one school year to the next. We benchmark Camden students’ growth against the state average growth and then compare the progress of charter, renaissance, and magnet school students with that of similar traditional district school students within Camden, accounting for student characteristics.
In both subjects, students in Camden exhibited similar growth in 2017-18 and 2018-19 compared to the statewide average student.
Camden students enrolled in magnet schools posted stronger growth in reading than the state average in 2017-18, while showed similar growth in 2018-19. Students in Camden renaissance schools were on par with the statewide average in reading in 2017-18, and exhibited stronger growth in 2018-19. Camden charter school students registered similar growth in reading across the both growth periods. Students in Camden traditional district schools lagged behind the statewide average student in reading in both growth periods.
For math, students in Camden charter, renaissance, and magnet schools were on par with the statewide average across the two years. Students in Camden traditional district schools showed weaker learning gains than the statewide average student in 2017-18, while grow similarly compared to an average student in the state in 2018-19.
Within Camden, charter students showed stronger growth in both reading and math than traditional district school students in 2017-18 and 2018-19. Magnet schools exhibited greater learning gains in both subjects in 2017-18, while shows similar learning gains in 2018-19 when compared to the district schools. In 2017-18, Camden renaissance schools indicated no significant difference in reading growth, while exhibited stronger growth in math relative to Camden traditional district schools. In 2018-19, Camden renaissance schools outperformed their peers in the district schools in both subjects.
A deeper dive into Camden student growth for the period ending in Spring 2019 reveals the following findings:
Charter School Type:
Camden charter schools affiliated with a Charter Management Organization (CMO) make greater progress in both reading and math compared to the state average. Students attending Camden independent charter schools grow on par with an average student in the state in both subjects. Within the Camden charter sector, CMO outperformed independent charter schools in both subjects.
Overall, Camden black students make similar learning gains in both reading and math compared to the state average black student. Breakout analyses by sector suggest that black students enrolled in renaissance schools show greater growth in both subjects than the average black student in the state. Camden charter and magnet school black students grow similarly in both subjects compared to the state average. Camden district school black students shows weaker learning gains in both subjects compared to the state average. Shifting the focus to sector comparison within Camden, black students enrolled in charter, magnet and renaissance schools post greater learning growth than district school black students in both subjects.
Hispanic students in Camden overall do not grow differently in reading or math compared to the average Hispanic student in the state. School sector breakout analyses reveal weaker reading gains for Camden district Hispanic students and greater reading gains among Camden renaissance Hispanic students than the state average of Hispanic students, while rest of the sectors grow similarly. In math, Camden students grow on par with the state average of Hispanic students regardless of the sector. Within Camden, renaissance Hispanic students outperform traditional district school Hispanic students in both subjects, while charter school Hispanic students show no significant difference in either reading or math. Hispanic students at Camden magnet schools post similar growth in reading, while showed greater gains in math relative to Hispanic students at Camden traditional district school.
Poverty1, ELL, and Special Education:
Camden students living in poverty overall post similar learning gains in both reading and math compared to the average student living in poverty in the state. Sector breakout analyses show stronger growth in reading among students in poverty enrolled in Camden magnet and renaissance schools relative to the state average of students living in poverty. Camden district school students in poverty demonstrate weaker growth in reading compared to the average student in poverty statewide. Comparisons of sectors within Camden demonstrate renaissance school students in poverty outperform the district school students in poverty in reading.
English Language Learners (ELLs) in Camden, overall, make similar learning gains in reading and math compared to the state average of ELLs. Sector breakout analysis indicate that ELL students in Camden district schools lag behind the average ELL statewide in reading and Camden magnet schools lag behind an average student in the state in math. ELL students in Camden renaissance schools outperform their state average peers in both subjects. Comparisons of sectors within Camden reveal stronger growth in both subjects among ELLs at renaissance, charter schools when they are compared to traditional district ELLs. Magnet ELLs underperform their peers in the district schools in math.
Camden students receiving special education services overall exhibit similar growth in both subjects. Special education students enrolled in Camden charter schools outpace the average special education statewide in math, while no significant difference is found among special education students served by the other types of Camden schools. In reading, special education students in Camden magnet schools outperform an average special education student in the state. The only significant difference surfacing from cross-sector comparisons within Camden is that special education students in magnet schools make greater gains in reading than special education students in traditional district schools.
Overall in both subjects, male students in Camden are on par with the statewide average male student. Camden charter, magnet, and renaissance male students grow on par with the average male student in the state, while Camden district school male students post weaker learning gains. Within Camden, renaissance male students exhibit greater growth in reading when compared to the district male students, while for math, charter male students outperform their peers in the district schools.
Camden female students, overall, exhibited similar learning gains than the average female student in the state in both subjects. When broken down by school sector, Camden renaissance school female students show stronger reading and math growth than the state average of peers. Camden district female students post weaker reading gains than the state average of female students. Within Camden, Renaissance female students make greater growth in both reading and math than their peers from traditional district schools. Charter school female students show stronger gains in both subjects than their peers in Camden district schools. Magnet school female students make greater progress in reading and equivalent growth in math than their counterparts at traditional district schools.
1 Free/reduced lunch variable is used as a proxy for poverty in the analysis.
2 In 2019-2020 the NJDOE expanded its collection of gender data to include non-binary and undesignated gender, but this study uses data from 2016-17 through 2018-19 school years that only contains binary male and female category as an option.
Presentation of Findings