SOMERSET, NJ – Superintendent John Ravally announced last night that the district submitted a passing score on the state performance review for the first time. 

Every three years, the state Department of Education requires public schools to conduct performance reviews on topics the agency calls “key factors in effective school districts.” The five factors the state monitors are instruction and programming, fiscal, governance, operations and personnel. 

The result, if verified by the state over the winter, will mark the first time that the district has done so since the monitoring system was enacted in 2005.

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“This, in fact, will be the first time since New Jersey QSAC monitoring has been put in place that we have positioned ourselves to be able to submit a passing score,” Ravally said. 

The district has historically struggled to get a passing score on the instruction and programming portion of the New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (NJQSAC) – the state’s monitoring and self-evaluation system. The NJQSAC system serves as the state’s effort to create a standardized method for evaluating the effectiveness of public schools. 

In order to get a passing grade, the district must score 80 percent or higher on each of the five district performance reviews (DPRs). 

Last month the board of education approved the submission of several of the required DPRs. The final report – the instruction and programming DPR – was approved for submission by the board of education last night. 

“History would have it that traditionally our district struggled to meet the target of 80 percent on the instruction of programming DPR but I'm proud to say that this cycle we are submitting our instruction and program DPR with a score that exceeds the 80 percent target,” Ravally said. 

The instruction and programming portion of the evaluation partially relies on how students perform on state standardized tests. The report also attempts to quantify how well the curriculum lines up with state standards, district intervention and support systems and high school graduation rates. 

Board member Ed Potosnak said he believes the district’s scores will increase after the state reviews their reports. 

“It should be underscored by all of us how much work went into this over a number of years and I don’t think any of us take it lightly,” he said. “I remain hopeful that the (state) visit will only raise our scores.”