NPS Graduating Class of 2018 Shows Historic Improvements

Increase in the Number of Graduates
Increase in SAT Scores
Data Implies Increase in Graduation Rate

Members of the Class of 2018 were awarded over $15 million in scholarships and will attend over 110 U.S. institutions of higher education in the fall


[Newark, NJ – June 28, 2017] – The 2018 graduating class of Newark Public Schools (NPS) 16 high schools have recorded the largest increase in SAT Scores, the number of graduates and is trending toward a record graduation rate, as well. These rates break records for achievements since Newark Public Schools was taken over by the State of New Jersey 24 years ago.

The data indicates more than 280 additional student graduates, bringing the total to 2,206; SAT Composite scores increased by 153 points over the last two years; surpassing Charter and Magnet school increases in Newark and New Jersey, overall. And according to preliminary data, NPS is expecting to bypass last year’s graduation rate of 78 percent.

“The data we have received on SAT scores, graduation rates and the size of the graduating class. for the class of 2018 shatters the record for achievement in the recent history of this city and our school district,” said A. Robert Gregory, Interim Superintendent of Newark Public Schools. “This is a historic year, a monumental moment in time for our students, their parents, our school district and the Newark community. I am humbled, honored and grateful to all who have contributed to the success of our students. The trajectory for their success is high based on these promising results. The strategies we developed over the last several years to improve student engagement and outcomes are clearly working. Interim Superintendent Gregory served as the Assistant Superintendent of High Schools, prior to serving as Deputy and then Interim Superintendent.

According to data compiled, comprehensive high schools showed an increase in 153 points on the SAT’s, while Magnet schools showed an increase of 125 points and Charter Schools showed an increase of 67 points.

In 2017 there were 1,926 graduates from NPS high schools. This year’s number shows an increase of 280 students to 2026.

Interim Superintendent Gregory also indicated that more than 70 percent of NPS graduates are attending college; 43 percent are attending a four-year college, 29 percent are attending a 2 year college, 5 percent are attending trade schools and 2 percent are entering the Military.

Throughout the 2017-2018 academic year, NPS seniors researched, visited, and applied to a wide-range of institutions. Below are a few significant facts about this year’s graduating class:

  • More than 70% of graduating seniors are expected to attend two or four year colleges or universities. In addition:
  • 23 students from East Side H.S. earned their Associates Degree from Essex County College
  • 57 students from Bard Early College earned their associates degree from Bard College.
  • The majority of students are attending Rutgers University and other NJ colleges
  • Students will also be matriculating at Brown University, Emory University, Spelman College, Swarthmore College, Syracuse University, University of Pennsylvania, Villanova, Wake Forest, Wellesley College and the University of Murcia in Cartagena, Spain.
  • Collectively, NPS seniors have already received more than $15 million in scholarships from a wide range of colleges, universities, community organizations and additional institutions across the United States.

“I’m incredibly proud of our NPS graduates for their accomplishments that have resulted from the hard work, talent, and grit that they have displayed throughout their lives,” Interim Superintendent Gregory said. Gregory also served as the former principal of American History High School. “I’m confident our scholars will continue to make Newark proud as they go on to pursue and achieve their future goals and I look forward to hearing about all that they accomplish in the coming years.”

Over the past several months, NPS seniors have celebrated the conclusion to their K-12 journey through a variety of events, including the district’s second College Decision Day in May and the fifth annual Superintendent’s Awards Banquet earlier this month.

Early projections show that NPS will once again increase its high school graduation rate this year, though these projections will not be officially confirmed until data is finalized in August. Last year, the New Jersey Department of Education released data showing that the graduation rate in 2017 increased to 78 percent up 4.5 points from the 2016 graduation rate of 73.5. This data also showed that this is the fifth consecutive year this rate has increased in Newark.