Friday, September 14, 2018

Hoboken High School Scores a 22.7 out of 100 on New Jersey Department of Education Rating System

Hoboken High School, Hoboken NJ 
In January of 2018, a new rating system devised by the New Jersey Department of Education and in compliance with federal laws, assigned a score to all 2000 of New Jersey's public schools with a score of 1 to 100 with 100 being highest. Unfortunately, the scores are not part of the summary reports and are instead embedded in the more detailed school report of each school. This overall 1-100 score combines standardized test results, graduation rates, and chronic absenteeism

The New Jersey Department of Education said it designed the new ratings to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act, the new federal education law that replaced No Child Left Behind

The law requires states to "meaningfully differentiate" schools' performance based on a variety of metrics and publish that information on school report cards, said Julie Woods, a policy analyst for the Education Commission of the States, which tracks state policy. 

How did Hoboken High School do? 

Hoboken High School received an overall score of 22.7 out of 100. This score placed the school at the 17th percentile in the State of New Jersey. This is a school with an 8:1 Student Teacher Ratio and high per student spending.


Click to Enlarge 

Before the week is over, we will report on the scores of all the public schools in Hoboken as per special request from readers.









Tuesday, September 11, 2018

HBOE September 11, 2018 Meeting (Full Agenda)

Including:
- Transportation contracts
- Out of District placements
- Resignations
- Agreement with Hoboken Historical Museum
- Pay Date 8/30/18: $465,393.12


Thursday, August 30, 2018

Results of the Most Recent SAT and PARCC Math Scores in the Hoboken School District Clearly Counter Any Reasonable Claim of College Readiness

Water Main Break- Hoboken, NJ 8/28/18 (photo New Jersey 12)
Being ready for college means that a high school graduate has the knowledge and skills necessary to qualify for and succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing college courses without the need for remedial coursework. More specifically, College readiness refers to the set of skills, knowledge, and behaviors a high school student should have upon graduation and entering their freshmen year of college. It's all about the ability to find success while studying at an institute of higher learning. Being "College ready" does not mean simply being accepted to college. Being "College ready" is not measured by how much scholarship or financial aid money a graduating class receives.

According to Forbes as well as civil rights activist Robert Moses of the Algebra Project, Math is the great equalizer. Math offers equalization in ways that additional money or other resources simply cannot. Even more than a child’s demographic or gender, math scores better predict the likelihood a student will one day reach college and graduate into a successful career beyond. 


Chart 1
Click to Enlarge
Unfortunately, research shows that not all students receive the same math education. The classic Adelman study shows that public schools with predominantly minority demographics have significantly lower math standards, fewer classes, and fewer advancement opportunities compared to schools with predominantly white and higher economic class demographics. This is immensely detrimental to our children’s growth because, as the Adelman study concludes, “the highest level of mathematics reached in high school continues to be a key marker in precollegiate momentum, with the tipping point of momentum toward a bachelor’s degree now firmly above Algebra 2.”

Knowing this, what does it mean when we continue to neglect math for children of minority backgrounds? The facts go on to show, for example, that “Latino students are far less likely to attend high schools that offer trigonometry (let alone calculus) than white or Asian students.” Just as unfortunate, students from lower socio-economic classes experience similar disadvantages in their access to math curriculum.

In the Hoboken Public School District, over 80% of the district students are not meeting the New Jersey Department of Education's expectations in Mathematics (Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry) and over 60% are not meeting the New Jersey Department of Education's expectations in Reading (Language Arts)- (See Chart 2)

Chart 2
Click to Enlarge
Research also tells us that Reading is highly correlated with all other school subjects since so much of school activities revolve around the ability to read -- word problems in Algebra, original documents in history class, argumentation and experimentation in science class (See Chart 3). The following is data concerning the latest SAT scores in Reading for all public high schools in Hudson County, NJ. Once again, claims and assurances of students being "college ready" require a stretch of the imagination and some wishful thinking. 


Chart 3
Click to Enlarge

 
Chart 4
Click to Enlarge
Given these SAT (Chart 1, 3, and 4) and PARCC scores (Chart 2), one must wonder about the credibility and professionalism of anyone who claims students from this district are college ready with any level of confidence. Simply stated, anyone who claims that current SAT and PARCC scores is an indication of students being college ready at scale either is ignorant of what the term means or is depending on the ignorance of their audience. 


Statewide, Hoboken High School is ranked 334 out of 387 public high schools in New Jersey on composite (Mathematics + Reading) SAT scores according to data released by the New Jersey Department of Education and reported in Patch.com. You can find the results by clicking HERE.  

Chart 4: HHS NJ School Performance Report 
Perhaps the most convincing piece of data concerning the general lack of college readiness at Hoboken High School comes from the New Jersey Department of Education's most recent NJ School Performance Report Card (see Chart 4). In this report 37% of HHS students are scoring at or above benchmark for College Readiness in Reading and Writing...and 15% are scoring at or above benchmark for College Readiness in Math. 

Finally, here is the Summary Report for the 2016-17 NJ Performance Report Card for Hoboken High School.  Anyone reviewing this summary prepared by the NJ Department of Education might certainly be justified to ask a number of questions concerning college readiness or even whether simply an adequate secondary education is being provided to these students. 




There is certainly no storage of tweets and posts on social media centering around all the wonderful things taking place in the Hoboken School District generally and at Hoboken High School specifically. The district appears to embrace and excel at coordinating congratulatory ceremonies and recognition awards at public meetings (note: research cautions that praising 'effort' may not promote a 'growth mindset'). 
New review of research in the journal Child Development suggests just praising the effort of middle and high school students to boost their "growth mindset" can have the opposite effect, with those adolescents praised becoming less likely to believe their work can improve their intelligence or skills. -Education Week (March, 2018)
Unfortunately, it is possible that the active engagement in social media and public relations in "branding" and promotion - as well as the parade of awards and accolades- may obscure to the parents, taxpayers, and the general public in Hoboken the actual (lack of) academic achievement and college readiness that currently exists in Hoboken High School

Summary: The most current SAT scores indicate Hoboken High School to be far below national, state, and county averages in Mathematics, Reading, and in composite SAT score in Math and Reading combined. The latest PARCC scores indicate no more than 40% of students at any HHS grade level are passing Reading and no more than 20% of HHS students are passing mathematics at any grade level. Furthermore, NJDOE analysis indicates only 37% of students are meeting College Readiness benchmarks and less than 18% are meeting College Readiness benchmarks in Mathematics. For the 7th straight year, the Hoboken Schools have failed the NJDOE QSAC DPR for INSTRUCTION AND PROGRAM. Finally, the most recent NJ Performance Report Card (NJDOE) indicates Hoboken High School is in need of improvement in English, Chronic Absenteeism, and 4-year graduation rate. 

Commentary: The most current student data emerging from Hoboken High School is especially disturbing when one realizes that as recently as 2007-2009 Hoboken High School was recognized as the 2nd most improved high school in NJ by New Jersey Monthly and was awarded back to back Bronze Medal Awards by US News and World Report. These accomplishments occurred under the leadership of HHS Principal Dr. Lorraine Cella (Columbia University), Superintendent Raslowsky (Harvard University), and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Petrosino (Columbia University/Vanderbilt University) and before self labeled "reform" politicians took full control of the Hoboken School District. 











Monday, August 13, 2018

Office of the Attorney General - Department of Law And Public Safety Division of Civil Rights is looking into the Hoboken Public School District

July 25, 2018 Letter
As this letter dated July 25, 2018 indicates, the Office of the Attorney General - Department of Law And Public Safety Division of Civil Rights is looking into the Hoboken Public School District. Regular readers will recall that on April 26, 2018 The Black Parents Workshop expanded their efforts in Bayonne, Jersey City and Hoboken. In May of 2018, The Black Parents Workshop filed a lawsuit claiming racial segregation in NJ schools persists more than six decades after the Supreme Court ruled the practice unconstitutional. It is unclear what relationship, if any, the expanded efforts or lawsuit are connected to the July 25, 2018 letter.

Text of letter: 

Re:      Hoboken Public School District 

The Division on Civil Rights is in the process of gathering information regarding the Hoboken Public School District. Your contact information was provided to us by The Black Parents Workshop Organization. It is our understanding that your child(ren) was involved in an incident that raised issues of concern. 

It is therefore requested that you contact the undersigned within seven (7) days upon receipt of this letter via email at tisha.leonardo@njcivilrights.gov or telephone at (973) 648-4835, Monday through Friday. 

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation, 

Cordially, 

Tisha M. Leonardo-Santiago
Investigator 

 
Click to Enlarge

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Hoboken Public Schools Ranked 31st of 36 Districts in NJ with a DFG of "A" on School Effectiveness Measures Developed by Stanford University Researchers

Many people in the Hoboken School District seem to think that the Hoboken School District should not be considered an "FG" district but rather should be considered an "A" district. I will leave the argument and explanation for the change in designation up to the local district administration and the New Jersey Department of Education. But, in response to some reaction concerning an earlier post about how the Hoboken School District ranked among peer FG districts, I am showing where Hoboken would rank among districts in New Jersey designated as having a District Factor Group designation of "A" when it comes to student progress in elementary school grades 3 to 8.

One can argue whether it is better or worse to be ranked 69th out of 71 "FG" districts or 31st out of 36 "A" districts in terms of student effectiveness for Grades 3 to 8. But with a district that spends nearly $30,000 per student, has among the highest teacher salaries in the country, and has small class sizes, one needs to really question what is taking place in the Hoboken School District between the grades 3 to 8 when instead of making 5 years worth of progress (average), the children in the Hoboken Public Schools are only making 4.1 years worth of progress between grades 3 to 8. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

2018 NJDOE Ranking Scores, Percentiles and Analysis for ALL Public Schools in Hoboken (Traditional and Charter)

"Pop-Up Park", Hoboken NJ 
In January of 2018, a new rating system devised by the New Jersey Department of Education and in compliance of federal laws, all 2000 of New Jersey's public schools with be assigned a score of 1 to 100 with 100 being highest. Unfortunately, the scores are not part of the summary reports and are instead embedded in the more detailed school report of each school. This overall 1-100 score combines standardized test results, graduation rates, and absenteeism. 

The New Jersey Department of Education said it designed the new ratings to comply with the Every Student Succeeds Act, the new federal education law that replaced No Child Left Behind.  The law requires states to "meaningfully differentiate" schools' performance based on a variety of metrics and publish that information on school report cards, said Julie Woods, a policy analyst for the Education Commission of the States, which tracks state policy. 

How did the public schools in Hoboken do? Here is a compilation of the most recent data (released January 2018): 


NJDOE Data Supplied by NJ.COM

Sometimes when we plot data we can visualize trends and relationships that are not always easily apparent when looking at data in a table. Here is a chart of the NJDOE scores for all Hoboken Public Schools plot with the score on the y-axis and the public schools in Hoboken listed along the x-axis: 

Chart 1: NJDOE School Scores for Hoboken Public Schools
Traditional and Charter Schools
Click to Enlarge 

Here is another chart of the NJDOE scores for all Hoboken Public Schools plot with the percentile on the y-axis (100 representing the best) and the public schools in Hoboken listed along the x-axis: 

Chart 2: NJDOE School Scores by Percentile for Hoboken Public Schools
Traditional and Charter Schools
Click to Enlarge 
The following are student enrollment numbers from the New Jersey School Performance Reports for the 2016-17 school year. This is the same year the rankings and percentiles were done above.

SCHOOLENROLLMENT 
Conners240
HobMiddle197
HHS411
Wallace634
Elysian290
HobCharter298
Calabro117
HOLA363
Traditional 1599
Charter951

Total 2550

Another way of looking at this data is to make the circle representing each school proportional to the enrollment of that school. With this visualization, a person can easily see the relative impact on the number of students. These graphs are a tube of scatter plot called bubble graphs which allow you to scale the data point to a new variable. The width of the circle is scaled to various school sizes. However, since it is a scatterplot, you cannot have categorical variables labeled on the X-axis (limit of excel). You can label the x-axis with categorical labels if it is a line graph (with disconnected data points); however, you won't be able to scale the circles. To overcome this, we just floated in text-boxes with the school names, so when it comes to re-sizing the graphic in excel, the school names will probably need to be shifted around.

Click to Enlarge


What do the enrollment numbers along with the NJDOE ranking scores and percentile scores tell us? First, students are not distributed evenly across all schools in Hoboken. That is no surprise nor is it a criticism. Second, since students are not evenly distributed, percentages help us understand better what a typical setting a student may be exposed to in terms of the NJDOE rating scores and percentiles. Here are some findings: 

1) 92.6 % of the students enrolled in the traditional Hoboken Public Schools attend a school with a NJDOE score of 43 or below (out of 100). 

2) 53% of the students enrolled in the traditional Hoboken Public Schools attend a school with a NJDOE ranking score of 23 or below (out of 100).

3) Over a quarter (27.3%) of students enrolled in the traditional Hoboken Public Schools attend a school with a state percentile ranking score of below 10%

4) 100% of the students enrolled in the 3 charter schools of Hoboken attend a school with a NJDOE score of 50 or more (out of 100) while only 7% of students enrolled in the traditional Hoboken Public Schools attend a school with a NJDOE score of 50 or more. 

5) 100% of the students enrolled in the 3 charter schools of Hoboken attend a school with a NJDOE percentile score of over 50 while only 7% of students that attend the traditional Hoboken Public Schools attend such a school. 

6) 69.5 % of charter school students in Hoboken attend a school with an NJDOE score of 66 out of 100 or more and a NJ state percentile score of over 75%.

7) 93% of the students enrolled in the traditional Hoboken Public Schools attend a school with a NJDOE ranking score of below 50 and a percentile score below 50. In comparison, not a single student enrolled in a charter school in Hoboken attends a schools with a NJDOE ranking of below 50 or a state percentile score below 50. 




Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Hoboken School District Ranked 69th out of 71 Similar NJ Districts on Grade 3 to 8 Growth Rates Despite Spending $28,217 per Student

Hoboken "Pop Up" Park- July 2017
Recent work by researchers at Stanford University shows that in the 5 years between Grades 3 and Grade 8, students in the Hoboken School district are advancing only 4.1 grade years. This represents the lowest rate in Hudson County, one of the lowest rates  in the State of New Jersey and bottom 13% in the United States. This despite spending $28,217 per student and in a district that is less than 50% free and reduced lunch.

An article in the New York Times by Emily Badger and Kevin Quealy spotlights the work of researchers at Stanford University and should be of great interest. The researchers not only used state test scores but a host of other data to present one of the most comprehensive studies yet on student success and effectiveness of school districts in delivering a quality educational experience for children. 

Some may say that comparing the Hoboken School District to other schools in Hudson County, the state of NJ or the country is inappropriate because of the unique population the district serves. Well, in 1975 the New Jersey Department of Education developed a method of comparing students’ performance on statewide assessments across demographically similar school districts. The categories are updated every ten years when the Census Bureau releases the latest Decennial Census data. The following data are considered when a district is placed into a District Factor Group (DFG):

1) Percent of adults with no high school diploma
2) Percent of adults with some college education
3) Occupational status
4) Unemployment rate
5) Percent of individuals in poverty
6) Median family income.

When compared to similar districts, the Hoboken School District is ranked 69th out of 71 school districts on Grade 3 to 8 Growth Rate as calculated by researchers at Stanford University (ranked 4th in the country by US News and World Report). 



GRADE 3 to 8 GROWTH RATES - New Jersey FG District Factor Group


RankCOUNTYCITYGROWTH RATENAT %DFG
1WarrenMansfield Township - Port Murray6.4100 FG
2MonmouthSpring Lake Heights Borou6.3100 FG
3PassaicNorth Haledon6.399 FG
4BergenMaywood6.299 FG
5Cape MayUpper Township6.198 FG
6MonmouthOcean Township - Oakhurst6.198 FG
7MonmouthWest Long Branch6.199 FG
8BergenFort Lee5.996 FG
9BergenNorthvale5.997 FG
10BurlingtonEastampton Township5.996 FG
11OceanPoint Pleasant Beach5.997 FG
12WarrenHope Township5.996 FG
13GloucesterEast Greenwich Township5.894 FG
14MiddlesexMilltown5.895 FG
15SussexFrankford Township5.895 FG
16BergenNew Milford5.691 FG
17BergenRochelle Park5.689 FG
18BurlingtonBurlington Township5.688 FG
19CamdenGibbsboro5.691 FG
20GloucesterPitman5.690 FG
21HunterdonHolland Township5.691 FG
22SussexVernon Township5.690 FG
23UnionClark Township5.691 FG
24BergenDumont5.586 FG
25GloucesterMantua Township5.586 FG
26SussexAndover Regional5.587 FG
27SussexHardyston Township5.586 FG
28SussexStillwater Township5.587 FG
29BurlingtonDelran Township5.480 FG
30CamdenBarrington Borough5.480 FG
31HunterdonKingwood Township5.483 FG
32PassaicBloomingdale5.484 FG
33PassaicLittle Falls Township5.483 FG
34SalemWoodstown-Pilesgrove Regi5.482 FG
35BurlingtonCinnaminson Township5.376 FG
36GloucesterWashington Township - Long Valley5.376 FG
37MorrisRockaway Borough5.378 FG
38WarrenBlairstown Township5.376 FG
39BurlingtonBordentown Regional Schoo5.270 FG
40BurlingtonHainesport Township5.274 FG
41CamdenCollingswood Borough5.271 FG
42GloucesterLogan Township5.271 FG
43MiddlesexMiddlesex Borough5.272 FG
44MonmouthEatontown5.276 FG
45MorrisLincoln Park Borough5.274 FG
46MorrisMine Hill Township5.275 FG
47PassaicPompton Lakes5.275 FG
48SomersetSomerville Borough5.271 FG
49MiddlesexOld Bridge Township5.167 FG
50BergenWood-Ridge560 FG
51MiddlesexSouth Plainfield561 FG
52MonmouthMatawan-Aberdeen Regional562 FG
53BurlingtonSpringfield4.846 FG
54MiddlesexNorth Brunswick Township4.846 FG
55MonmouthHowell Township4.851 FG
56MorrisBoonton Town4.852 FG
57BurlingtonLumberton Township4.741 FG
58MiddlesexDunellen4.744 FG
59BergenHasbrouck Heights4.635 FG
60CamdenHaddon Township4.639 FG
61EssexNutley4.638 FG
62MorrisRiverdale4.633 FG
63OceanPoint Pleasant Borough4.634 FG
64MiddlesexMonroe Township - Williamstown4.531 FG
65PassaicWest Milford Township4.426 FG
66SussexHopatcong Borough4.425 FG
67SussexOgdensburg Borough4.425 FG
68BergenBergenfield4.319 FG
69HudsonHoboken4.113 FG
70GloucesterSouth Harrison Township3.74 FG
71PassaicLakewood Township3.64 FG