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Newark – 2019

2021 City Studies

Summary of Findings

This summary highlights major findings about students’ academic performance in public K-12 schools in Newark, New Jersey. Performance is measured by one-year learning gains or growth students made from one school year to the next. We benchmark Newark students’ growth against the state average growth and then compare the progress of charter and magnet school students with that of similar non-magnet district school (abbreviated as district school) students within Newark, accounting for student characteristics.


Overall:

Students in Newark posted stronger learning gains compared to the state average in reading throughout the 2015-16, 2016-17, and 2017-18 school years. In math, Newark students exhibited greater growth than the state average in 2016-17 and did not differ significantly from the state average student in the other two years.

Sector:

In both reading and math, Newark charter school students made stronger gains than the state average in all three growth periods of 2015-16, 2016-17, and 2017-18. Newark magnet schools showed consistent greater learning gains with upward trends in reading over the study period. In math, Newark magnet schools outpaced the state average in 2016-17 and are on par with the state average in 2015-16 and 2017-18. District school students in Newark grew similarly compared to the state average student across all growth periods in reading. In math, district school students outperformed the state average in 2016-17 and did not show significant differences in 2015-16 and 2017-18.

Within Newark, charter schools exhibited stronger growth than district schools in reading in all three growth periods. In math, charter schools made greater progress than district schools in 2015-16 and 2017-18, while no significant difference in growth was found in 2016-17. Newark magnet schools posted greater growth than Newark district schools in reading in 2016-17 and 2017-18. There was no significant difference in math learning gains between Newark magnet schools and district schools over the three growth periods. Newark charter school students showed larger growth in math in 2017-18 relative to the Newark magnet school students. Learning gains of charter school students in Newark do not differ from that of magnet school students in reading.

A deeper dive into Newark student growth for the period ending in Spring 2018 reveals the following findings:

Charter School Type:

Newark charter schools affiliated with a Charter Management Organization (CMO) make greater progress in reading and math than the state average. Similarly, although to a lesser extent, students attending Newark independent charter schools post stronger learning gains in both reading and math. There is no significant difference in learning gains between CMOs and independent charter schools within the Newark charter sector in reading. CMO-affiliated charters show stronger growth than independent charters in math.

Race/Ethnicity:

Overall, Newark black students make stronger learning gains in reading and similar progress in math compared to the state average black student. Breakout analyses by sector suggest that Newark charter black students make greater learning gains in both reading and math than the average black student statewide. Black students attending Newark magnet schools outperform the average black student in the state in reading while growing similarly in math. Newark district school black students’ learning gains are on par with the state average of black students in both subjects. Within Newark, charter school black students exhibited stronger growth than district school black students in both reading and math, while magnet school black students outperform district school black students in reading.

Newark Hispanic students overall make stronger growth in reading and do not perform differently in math compared to the state average Hispanic student. Newark charter school Hispanic students show greater learning gains in both reading and math than the state average of Hispanic students. Newark magnet school Hispanic students outperform the average Hispanic student statewide in reading and do not grow differently in math. District school Hispanic students show no difference in learning gains than the average Hispanic student in the state in either subject. Within Newark, charter school Hispanic students outgrow district school Hispanic students in both reading and math; magnet school Hispanic students make greater progress than district school Hispanic students in reading.

Poverty, ELL, and Special Education:

Compared to the state average of students living in poverty, Newark students living in poverty, overall and particularly those attending charter schools, make greater learning gains in both reading and math. Newark magnet school students in poverty outpace the statewide average student in poverty in reading and do not significantly differ in math. Newark district school students in poverty grow similarly compared to the state average of students living in poverty in reading and math. Within Newark, charter school students in poverty outperform district school students in poverty in both reading and math; magnet school students in poverty make stronger learning gains than district school students in poverty in reading.

English Language Learners (ELLs) in Newark show growth similar to the state average of ELLs in both reading and math. Breakout analyses by sector suggest no significant difference in learning gains among Newark’s charter and district school ELL students compared to the average ELL in the state.1Sector comparisons within Newark indicate that ELL students enrolled in charter schools do not grow differently in either reading or math compared with ELL students attending district schools.2

Newark students receiving special education services make greater learning gains in reading and similar math growth compared to the state average of special education students. In sector breakout analyses, better performance is found in both subjects for Newark charter and magnet school students with special education designations compared to the average special education student in the state. Special education students attending Newark district schools are on par with the state average special education student in both subjects. Cross-sector comparisons within Newark indicate that special education students enrolled in both charter and magnet schools make greater learning gains in reading and math than special education students attending district schools.

Gender:

Both male and female students in Newark overall post stronger reading growth and similar math gains than the average student of the same gender in the state. The patterns of learning gains for students by gender mirror each other when broken down by the subgroups. Male and female students studying in Newark charter schools outperform the average student of the same gender statewide in both reading and math. Students of each gender enrolled in Newark magnet schools make greater progress in reading and grow similarly in math relative to the state average of the same gender group. Both male and female students in Newark district schools exhibit similar learning gains compared to the average student of the same gender statewide in reading and math. Within Newark, male and female students in charter schools make greater gains in reading and math than the students of the same gender in Newark district schools. Both male and female students in Newark magnet schools outperform their peers in Newark district schools in reading and do not perform differently in math.

1 Estimation results for ELL students in Newark magnet schools are not reported to comply with the state’s suppression rule regarding the small sample size.

2In compliance with the state’s suppression rule regarding the small sample size, the results from comparisons of ELL students enrolled in magnet and district schools within Newark are not reported due to the small number of ELL students in Newark magnet schools.


Presentation of Findings

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