Measuring Up



New Jersey

TOTAL SCORE:
76 out of 116

Rank: 4 out of 26

See a summary of the state’s charter law.

See additional observations about charters in the state and recommendations to support the growth of high-quality charter schools.

What is the state of charter schools in New Jersey?

GROWTH INDICATORS

 

 

Score


1. Public school share
 (2013–14)

3

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Number

Percentage

 

Public charter schools

87

3%

 

 


2. Public school student share
 (2013–14)

3

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

Number

Percentage

 

Public charter school students

32,260

2%

 

 

3. Students by race and ethnicity (2012–13)

4

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

White

9%

51%

-42%

Black

55%

15%

40%

Hispanic

27%

23%

4%

Asian

4%

9%

-5%

Other

2%

1%

1%

Total minority

88%

48%

40%

 

4. Students in special populations (2012–13)

4

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

Free and reduced-price lunch status

70%

36%

34%

Special education status

N/A

N/A

N/A

English learner status

N/A

N/A

N/A

Total special student populations

70%

36%

34%

 

5. Schools by geographic distribution (2011–12)

4

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

Charters

Traditional

Difference

City

40%

7%

33%

Suburb

53%

79%

-26%

Town

0%

3%

-3%

Rural

7%

11%

-4%

Total nonsuburban

47%

21%

26%

 

6. Communities with more than 10 percent of students in public charter schools (2012–13)

1

weight = 1 | Possible total = 4

 

 

 

Number of communities with more than 10 percent of students in public charter schools

3

 

7. New public charter schools opened over the past five years  (2009–14)

9

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

2009–10

6

Average Annual Open Rate

9.7%

2010–11

7

2011–12

10

2012–13

9

2013–14

6

Total number

38

 

 

 

 

8. Public charter schools closed over the past five years (2008–13)

12

weight = 3 | Possible total = 12

 

 

 

2008–09

0

Average Annual Closure Rate

3.3%

2009–10

2

2010–11

2

2011–12

3

2012–13

5

Total number

12

 

 

 

 
 

INNOVATION INDICATORS

 

 

Score

9. Public charter schools reporting use of various innovative practices (2011–12)

4

weight = 2 | Possible total = 8

 

 

 

Extended day (30 minutes or more each day compared to traditional public schools)

60

Average

19%

Extended year (10 or more days compared to traditional public schools)

36

Year-round calendar

0

Independent study

8

School-to-work

0

Higher education courses

12

 
 

QUALITY INDICATORS

 

 

Score

10. Additional days of learning in reading (2007–11)

16

weight = 4 | Possible total = 16

 

 

 

Number of additional days of learning in reading

43

 

 

 

 

11. Additional days of learning in math (2007–11)

16

weight = 4 | Possible total = 16

 

 

 

Number of additional days of learning in math

58

 

 

 

Items Reported But Not Scored

Startups versus conversions (2012–13)

 

Startups

Conversions

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter schools

100%

0%

 

 

 

Public charter schools that are independent, associated with a CMO, or associated with an EMO (2010–11)

 

Number

Percentage

 

 

Independent

71

97%

 

 

Charter management organization

2

3%

 

 

Education management organization

0

0%

 

 

 

Charter authorizers (2013–14)

 

Number of authorizers

Number of charter schools

Average number of charters per authorizer

Percentage of the state’s public charters authorized by this type of authorizer

Local education agency

State education agency

1

87

87

100%

Independent charter board

Noneducational government entity

Higher education institution

Nonprofit

 

Virtual public charter schools and students (2012–13)

Number of virtual public charter school students

0

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter school student population enrolled
in virtual charter schools

0%

 

 

Number of virtual public charter schools

0

 

 

Percentage of a state’s public charter schools that are virtual charter schools

0%

 

 

 

Health of the Movement Summary

New Jersey’s public charter school movement ranked #4 out of 26, scoring 76 points out of 116.

New Jersey scored relatively well on the following indicators:

  • Thirty-eight public charters opened in New Jersey between 2009–10 and 2013–14, a 9.7 percent average annual open rate.
  • Twelve public charters closed in New Jersey between 2008–09 and 2012–13, a 3.3 percent average annual closure rate.
  • On average, public charter school students exhibited significantly higher academic growth when compared with traditional public school students between 2007–08 and 2010–11 (43 more days in reading and 58 more days in math).

New Jersey scored relatively low on the following indicators:

  • Only 3 percent of the state’s public schools were charters in 2013–14.
  • Only 2 percent of the state’s public school students were charter students in 2013–14.
  • Only three communities in New Jersey had more than 10 percent of their public school students in charters in 2012–13.

In addition to the above points, we also offer the following observations about the movement in New Jersey:

  • The state’s public charter schools served a significantly higher percentage of racial and ethnic minority students when compared with traditional public schools in 2012–13 (40 percentage points more).
  • The state’s public charter schools served a significantly higher percentage of free and reduced-price lunch students when compared with traditional public schools in 2011–12 (34 percentage points more).
  • Forty-seven percent of the state’s public charters were located in nonsuburban areas as compared to 21 percent of traditional public schools in 2011–12.
  • An average of 19 percent of the state’s public charter schools reported using one of the six innovative practices that we tracked in 2011–12.
  • One hundred percent of the state’s public charter schools were startups during 2012–13.
  • In 2010–11, 97 percent of the public charter schools in New Jersey were independently managed, and 3 percent were associated with a nonprofit charter management organization. None were associated with a for-profit educational management organization.
  • The only authorizer in New Jersey is the state department of education. As of 2013–14, the state department of education had authorized 87 public charter schools.
  • There were no virtual public charter schools in New Jersey in 2012–13.

Recommendations

New Jersey’s charter school movement has achieved relatively strong results in spite of a relatively weak law. However, its charter school movement is still relatively small. It has likely achieved these results through a combination of its one authorizer implementing solid practices that are not required by the state’s public charter school law and a select number of high-performing charters smartly replicating and expanding. We encourage the state to enact policies to increase the impact of such success, including ensuring equitable operational funding and equitable access to capital funding and facilities, increasing operational autonomy, and expanding authorizing options.