High Cost of Low Grades. Brigantine Student Performance Slips Again.

Brigantine Elementary & Middle school performance results have been released for 2014, and parents are not happy. The results show academic performance of Brigantine students seriously lags in comparison to schools across the state.

The Brigantine middle school is borderline bottom 20%… when compared to schools across the state. These students are on the cusp of a rating called: ‘significantly lagging performance’ with only 20% percent of targets met.

In regards to college and career readiness, Brigantine students met only 50% of targets. The Brigantine elementary school, grades pre-K thru 4th, are in bottom third of academic performance. See FULL RESULTS here.

From the Brigantine Taxpayers Association:

Fulfilling a public school’s purpose. Who’s accountable? On January 9, 2015, the Brigantine Taxpayers Association shared the 2014-15 salaries of the Brigantine Public School Employees. As of 11/2014, there were 132 listed employees with a student body of 683 in Brigantine.

Now, we present the 2014 results by students in Brigantine’s elementary and middle schools on a statewide test, the NJASK (Assessment of Skills and Knowledge). Government, including the public schools, works best when informed people hold it accountable and use facts to evaluate it objectively.

  • Not only do Brigantine taxpayers pay to support the public school system (30% of property taxes allocated to the district), but, as citizens, we should expect the public school to do its assigned job preparing and educating our young people with the necessary, fundamental knowledge and skills enabling them to move on successfully to the next educational level.
  • Brigantine is a Type 1 school district, one of 21 in NJ out of over 600 school districts.
  • How does our Type 1 district work? Who’s responsible for how well or how poorly the school is fulfilling its purpose?
  • The mayor alone, Dr. Philip Guenther, appoints the unpaid members of the Board of Education.
  • The Brigantine School Board currently consists of the following members serving staggered terms:  in alpha order, Nancy Barbin, Steve Bonanni, David Borrone, Helen Coffman,  Matthew Doran, Frank Koch, president, and  James Mackey.
  • The Board (meets monthly, open to the public) hires the superintendent and other school employees. An annual budget is prepared, presented to the Board for its approval, and then presented to the Board of School Estimate each spring.
  • The School Board is composed of two Board of Education members, and three, including the mayor, City council members.  There is no vote by the voters on this budget.
  • For several years, we’ve expressed our concern and disappointment with the unsatisfactory level of academic achievement in our elementary and middle schools.
  • Unfortunately, this sentence from last year’s Beachcomber article is still applicable. “This is not a situation in which Brigantine taxpayers may take pride, nor one which they should tolerate.”

Brigantine Public Schools, District Test Analysis, Spring 2014, NJ ASK Results (additional data available online at N.J. State Dept. of Education) In addition to being compared to public schools statewide each school district’s academic performance is also compared to those schools across the state with similar grade levels and similar demographic characteristics such as the percentage of students qualifying for free/reduced lunch, etc. For this second comparison each district is placed in a District Factor Group, a DFG.



GradeState DFGBrigantine



Brigantine’s report combines the Proficient and Advanced Proficient categories.  The state report lists them as separate categories. In percentages and in the average scale scores, the higher number is better.



GradeState DFGBrigantine
8220.1215 218.1


GradeState DFGBrigantine


  • In 7 of 12 cases, the DFG passing percentage exceeds that of the Brigantine schools.
  • In 9 of 12 cases, the state passing percentage exceeds that of the Brigantine schools.
  • In 6 of 12 cases, the DFG scale score exceeds that of the Brigantine schools.
  • In 12 of 12 cases, the state scale score exceeds that of the Brigantine schools.

Individual students and families were told of their own test results.  But, aside from this report to the Board of Education, the people of Brigantine know nothing of these complete, comparative results. These tests are important. Their results are significant. We publish these test scores so that taxpayers have the facts about the true level of academic achievement in Brigantine’s two schools.

This information should be on the district’s website to raise awareness and to facilitate public discussion and accountability by those in charge. For years, the people of Brigantine have been told that the quality of education in the Brigantine schools is excellent. This was not true. It is not true now.

Our public schools are not fulfilling their prime purpose.

Brigantine Taxpayers Association




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5 thoughts on “High Cost of Low Grades. Brigantine Student Performance Slips Again.”

  1. Concerned Parent of North School

    There is no curriculum in the North school! No syllabus for any of the classes. There are not sufficient books, and students cannot bring books home. The 8th grade high level Reading and Language Arts class just finished a 204 page Novel since the beginning of the year. One book in 5 months, but remember they do not read the book at home only in class. The teacher actually read them chapters out of the book. Why would an 8th grade teacher be reading the book to the students? ( Perhaps a lullaby should of accompanied the reading).

    Other schools in the areas 8th grade classes are reading books independently at home, in a quiet environment. They have read 3 novels already, along with typed reports about each book. There is no homework in many classes in 8th grade. There is no writing assignments in Reading and Language Arts. There is no language arts, other than vocabulary words. The vocabulary words are taught to the students not by the teacher but an online web site..

    Our students NJ Ask scores reflect what our students are learning or lack of. Accountability is why they implemented these tests. Some of us ask our children what they did in each class on a daily basis. We know what’s going on.

  2. Our children are suffering from some of the inadequate teaching from some of the teachers in our school. Seeing that their salaries were posted in the paper a couple of weeks ago, some of them our way over payed!
    There have been numerous complaints over the years from parents about several teachers not doing their jobs, and also humiliating our children. I can understand kids in Philadelphia getting bad scores they have 30 to 33 kids per classroom with one teacher. Our school has the most and I say most 23 kids per classroom with one teacher! These teachers in our school that the parents have been complaining about for years and years should face some sort of disaplin! If they don’t take interest in their jobs anymore they should move on and let new and younger teachers take over! Our school needs to break this vicious cycle of letting teachers just sit there and not properly do their jobs! Take the teachers phones from them during class! Thank goodness that my children have survived being in these schools and have moved on to better education!

  3. Keeps getting better. Failing business in brigantine, schools not meeting the standards, tax evasion, corrupt politics….what’s next

  4. Recall, if you will, all the awards the schools have gotten over the years!!!! Awards for everything BUT academic excellence!!! We’re told that these low scores really don’t count, that they’re really not an indication of anything substantial, that a few students with low scores drag down the results for the majority. Really??!! I’ll bet if the scores were high we’d see headlines in all the papers!

    Brigantine as a community does offer a lot to the kids growing up here, but unless and until we offer them a top level education as part of a foundation for building their lives, we are failing them.

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