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U.S. Senator Cory Booker. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe.

Newark schools improved during Booker era, study shows

Graduation rates up to 77%

By David Wildstein, June 13 2019 9:14 am

Newark public and charter schools saw their test scores, graduate rates and student growth rates improve between 2006 and the final year of state control in 2018, according to a new report by the New Jersey Children’s Foundation and MarGrady Research.

These time period coincides large with Cory Booker’s tenure as the mayor of Newark.

Now a Democratic presidential candidate, Booker was mayor of New Jersey’s largest city from 2006 t0 2013, when he won a seat in the United States Senate.

The percentage of black students attending a school that outperformed the state test score proficiency average increased from 7% to 31%.

“As Newark’s leaders put together the first strategic plan under local control in more than twenty years, we hope this report serves as a baseline for measuring progress,” said Kyle Rosenkrans, the CEO of the New Jersey Children’s Foundation. 

Public schools went from the bottom to the top ranks of other high-poverty school districts in the state, and average test scores went from the 39th percentile to the 78th in reading and math.

Graduation rates rose from 63% in 2011 to 77% in 2018.

“We can debate the causes, but we shouldn’t debate the facts: the gains made by Newark children are real, and they are meaningful,” said Jesse Margolis, PhD, of MarGrady Research.

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