Thursday, January 17, 2019

Hoboken Middle School Enrollment Dropping Despite Claims by Superintendent Johnson and Board Member Kluepfel that "enrollment continues to grow"

Hoboken Board of Education

According to an article by Marilyn Baer of the Hoboken Reporter (January 11, 2019) we read:
"In the past Johnson and Board of Education members have said they may need more seats for students in the coming years. “If enrollment continues to grow at the rate we’re seeing recently, we will surely face the need for additional space or buildings,” said then-school board president Thomas Kluepfel a year and a half ago at a school board meeting." -Hoboken Reporter (1/11/19)

It is a confusing and uncomfortable day when people who are given the public trust for making decisions about the education of a town's youth and to be an honest and truthful voice of data and information to a city's citizens do not meet even minimal expectations.

In a previous post I pointed out that district enrollment in Hoboken was not growing at all and in fact was flat at best over the past twelve years with a slight downward trend. Some readers pointed out that the quotes by Superintendent Johnson and Board member Kluepfel centered on middle school enrollment. 

A quick analysis of middle school enrollment in the Hoboken Public School District clearly shows a downward trend and declining enrollment. For the chart below we took data frn the New Jersey Department of Education from 2010-11 to 2017-18 (the most current data available) and we took 6th, 7th, and 8th grade enrollment. The chart below looks at each grade in isolation as well as a total middle school enrollment (TOT= 6th + 7th + 8th).

Click to Enlarge
Middle School enrollment in Hoboken is trending downward (declining) NOT increasing.

One is left to wonder what have former Hoboken Board President Kluepfel and other members of the Hoboken Board of Education along with Superintendent Christine Johnson choose to promote a false narrative of the "growing enrollment" in the Hoboken School District? 

Is it to offset the perception of the inadequate education students are receiving? 
Is it to try to justify the "need" for the funding for construction of a new school? 
Is it because there is a perception that people simply do not care? 

Whatever the reason--- the data over the past 8 years shows clearly that any claim of enrollment growth or the need for additional space due to enrollment growth in the middle school is without warrant and possibly a deliberate misstatement. 


Perhaps there is a good reason why a recent developer kickback was directed to a parent organization and not to the Hoboken Board of Education....



Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Superintendent Johnson and Board Member Kluepfel Misrepresent Hoboken District Enrollment to Argue for New Middle School Building

According to a community message from the Hoboken Mayor to the city council, he will not support a new project in the Southwest Redevelopment Area proposed by Academy Bus that would include a new middle school, and would require “major changes to the existing Southwest Redevelopment Plan.

The proposal includes office space for Academy Bus, a new Hoboken Middle School, 439 residential units, and public open space.

Academy Bus is a wonderful and important corporate neighbor to the City of Hoboken and has been for many years. I have no position on the proposed plan nor am I especially in favor or against the Hoboken mayor's statement on the proposed project. My objection centers more on the the statements of Superintendent Johnson and Hoboken Board of Education President Thomas Kluepfel who have consistently delivered a message to the public that the enrollment in the Hoboken Public schools in increasing. Nothing can be further from the truth.

According to an article by Marilyn Baer of the Hoboken Reporter (January 11, 2019) we read:


"In the past Johnson and Board of Education members have said they may need more seats for students in the coming years. “If enrollment continues to grow at the rate we’re seeing recently, we will surely face the need for additional space or buildings,” said then-school board president Thomas Kluepfel a year and a half ago at a school board meeting." -Hoboken Reporter (1/11/19)


Dr. Christine Johnson
In an era of false statements and lies being stated by public officials at the highest levels of government, trust and faith in our elected leaders and of our children's welfare and of our tax dollars should be of utmost importance. The statements by Dr. Johnson and Thomas Kluepfel are uninformed and misleading and depend on the public trusting these individuals that the statements they are making are accurate and truthful. Unfortunately, this does not appear to be the case. 

The enrollment in the Hoboken Public School District does not "continue to grow"-- and there is no evidence that there will be a need for additional space of buildings because of population growth in the city. The statements of growing enrollment in the district are inaccurate and without backing. In fact, here is the data for the total enrollment of the Hoboken School District for the past twelve years-- I have also included a data trend line (red dotted arrow) to show the mathematical trend line over this period.


Hoboken District Enrollment 2006-2018
The average district enrollment since the 2006-07 school year to the 2017-18 school year (latest available data from the NJDOE) shows an average total district enrollment of 1889 students and a standard deviation of about 156 students. Twelve years of data from the New Jersey Department of Education indicate that the general total enrollment of the Hoboken Public Schools has been 1889 students with a standard deviation of 156 students and the mathematical trend line has been flat to slightly downward sloping. If we look at resident enrollment, the total enrollment of the school district would be reduced by approximately 146 students because of out of town "choice" students (a program I proposed while Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Hoboken).


Thomas Kluepfel
Any claim by the Superintendent of Schools or the former Board President to indicate enrollment growth district wide is ill-informed at best.

Hoboken may need new schools. And if they do, they should make their argument for better facilities or for more modern buildings- even changing population patterns (although in a mile square city that is a difficult argument to make). But to misrepresent enrollment data to the public for a proposed redevelopment plan is, unfortunately, a sign of the times we live in. Post truth....fake news....claims that do not rely of data and good faith are a threat not only to municipal government but the foundation of democracy itself. 

As I have shown in previous posts, there is PLENTY of space in the Hoboken Public Schools.See chart below for some eye opening data.

Click to Enlarge


Friday, January 4, 2019

HOLA Dual Language School Receives Charter Renewal and Recognized as a HIGH PERFORMING School

Thank you to the New Jersey Department of Education for renewing HoLa’s charter as a high performing school in the state of NJ. I would like to thank the entire Hoboken community for their support and encouragement. Hola has shown that there can be highly accountable quality free public education for city youth at less than half the per pupil cost of legacy public schools in Hoboken. Hola is a FREE, PUBLIC K-8 school in the City of Hoboken and was founded by a group of individuals who wanted Hola to be in the Hoboken Public Schools...but the proposal was rejected by a Board majority of self proclaimed reformers. Thankfully, the vision for Hola persisted, and today Hola is one of THE crown jewels of public education not only in Hoboken, NJ but in the entire State of New Jersey and across the nation. 



Friday, December 21, 2018

Prepared Remarks - Structural, Systemic and Institutional Issues of Race in the Hoboken Public Schools: Hoboken Board of Education Meeting March 13, 2018

Hoboken Board of Education Meeting (March 13, 2018)

On Tuesday, March 13 2018 a former district mother approached the podium at the monthly meeting of the Hoboken Board of Education. She intended to read the initial few paragraphs of the document below into the record. For various reasons concerning the 5 minute limit for public comment, she was not allowed to finish. She asked for more time, was denied by the Board President and eventually police were called to the meeting. Here is the full text which included the small portion that was to be read into the record (first 2 paragraphs).  Specific  issues addressed are structural, systemic and institutional issues of race in the Hoboken Public Schools, disparity between races, and how this is playing out at multiple levels in the district.




Saturday, December 15, 2018

New Jersey Supreme Court Upholds Teacher Tenure (Reader Comments Welcomed)

Click Here for Additional Details
NJ SUPREME COURT refused to hear a case that could have eviscerated what is left of teacher tenure by removing seniority as a consideration in the layoffs of tenured instructors. This decision is another court defeat for so called “education reform” groups seeking to attack due process for teachers. Courts in California and Minnesota also rejected legal attacks on teacher tenure in those states.
Ostensibly brought by a group of parents who alleged their children's constitutional rights were denied by tenure, the litigation was part of a national effort--funded by anti-union advocates--to weaken tenure laws. 
The plaintiffs in the case, H.G. v. Harrington, are several Newark Public Schools (NPS) students and parents. The plaintiffs were supported by the Partnership for Educational Justice, a group formed by former television news anchor Campbell Brown, who is behind similar lawsuits about teacher tenure laws in Minnesota and New York.
Although the state (under Gov. Chris Christie) was the nominal defendant, the case bordered on the collusive--the commissioner and Newark school superintendent Christopher Cerf agreed with the plaintiffs. Only the intervention of the Newark Teachers Union and the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) as defendants made it anything like a true legal controversy. 

The trial court dismissed the case on the grounds of "ripeness" and was upheld by the appellate division. In legalese, ripeness means the plaintiffs failed to show the plaintiffs faced any real, provable harm to back up their allegations. The damage was "speculative," the appeals court ruled--and the state's highest court declined to review the case. 

NTU President John Abeigon said the decision was a major victory for teachers--and it was. Newark's school children still await the day when the courts move to end racial segregation and isolation in schools, underfunding, and the diversion of scarce resources to privatized charter schools.

Statement by the Partnership for Educational Justice on the decision: CLICK HERE

“Of course I’m disappointed that the courts have denied our appeals, but I don’t for a second regret being part of this lawsuit. Any parent would do the same if they saw their child hurt by a broken public education system that values the jobs of chronically ineffective teachers over the future of young students. I have been able to elevate my voice through this lawsuit, and parents like me have banded together to fight for educational justice in New Jersey. It’s up to us, the parents, to make positive change. We’re stronger together, and we will keep on fighting until every child in New Jersey has equal access to the high-quality education they deserve,” said Tanisha Garner, Newark public school parent and the lead plaintiff in HG v. Harrington.
Another good summary of the lawsuit: CLICK HERE
Complaint-H.G.-v.-Harrington-Stamped-ORIGINAL: CLICK HERE

Thursday, December 13, 2018

2018 NJ PARCC Results for 7th and 8th Grade Hoboken City and Free Charter Schools

512 Adams Street- Hoboken, NJ
The following are the scores and ranks for the 2018 New Jersey PARCC English assessments for Grades 7 and 8. The information provided here supplies 1) the total number of public schools ranked for each grade level in New Jersey; 2) the rank of each district in Hoboken by grade level in New Jersey; and 3) the actual raw PARCC score average for the school district in Hoboken (Hoboken City District, Hoboken Charter District). Finally, a percentile score is presented which gives a sense of where the district is ranked among all the other NJ public school districts on the particular grade level PARCC assessment for 2018. 


All Hoboken public (free) charter schools scored above the 50th percentile with the Hola Dual Language School scoring above the 90th percentile in both grade 7 and grade 8. The Hoboken City Schools scored at the 15th percentile for 7th Grade English PARCC and the 10th percentile for the 8th grade English PARCC.



2018 PARCC RESULTS
PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN HOBOKEN
7th and 8th Grade English 


English 7th Grade (507 Total NJ Districts)


Hola CS   Rank #49   Score= 787   Percentile=90.33

Hoboken CS   Rank # 78 Score= 783 Percentile= 84.61
Elysian CS   Rank #242   Score= 764   Percentile= 52.26  
Hoboken City Rank #430 Score= 742 Percentile= 15.18


Click to Enlarge

English 8th Grade (505 Total NJ Districts)

Hola CS   Rank #31   Score= 791   Percentile=93.86
Hoboken CS   Rank # 67   Score= 783 Percentile= 86.73
Elysian CS   Rank #207   Score= 766   Percentile= 59.01  
Hoboken City   Rank #453   Score= 738   Percentile= 10.29


Click to Enlarge 

Sunday, December 9, 2018

2018 PARCC Mathematics Scores For Hoboken Secondary Schools in Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry

Budweiser Clydesdale Horses in Hoboken- 12/8/18
photo: The Jersey Journal 
The following are the scores and ranks for the 2018 New Jersey PARCC Mathematics assessments. The information provided here supplies 1) the total number of public schools ranked for each grade level in New Jersey; 2) the rank of each district in Hoboken by grade level in New Jersey; and 3) the actual raw PARCC score average for the high school districts in Hoboken (Hoboken City District, Hoboken Charter District). Finally, a percentile score is presented which gives a sense of where the district is ranked among all the other NJ public school districts on the particular grade level PARCC assessment for 2018.


Not a single tested grade level is scoring above 33% in the Hoboken School District in Algebra I, Algebra II, or Geometry. As I explained in previous posts, Mathematics in general and Algebra in particular are a civil rights issue as explained eloquently by mathematician and civil rights leader Robert Moses.


These scores, coupled with the Grade 3-8 Mathematics scores reported earlier, indicate that there are not many students completing their studies in the traditional Hoboken public schools that would be considered "college ready" by traditional standards. It is important to realize that being admitted to college does not indicate college readiness.


2018 PARCC RESULTS
PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN HOBOKEN
HIGH SCHOOL  Algebra I & II and Geometry 


Algebra I (509 Total NJ Districts)
Hoboken CS Rank #172 Score= 769 Percentile= 66.2
Hoboken HS Rank #472 Score= 750 Percentile= 7.26

Geometry (332 Total NJ Districts)
Hoboken CS Rank #273 Score= 721 Percentile= 17.77
Hoboken HS Rank #280 Score= 720 Percentile= 15.66

Algebra II (315 Total NJ Districts)
Hoboken CS Rank #308 Score= 689 Percentile= 2.22
Hoboken HS Rank #214 Score= 714 Percentile= 32.06





Click to Enlarge

It is important to realize just a few weeks ago news was released that Hoboken High School plummeted in the bi-annual NJ Monthly rankings of New Jersey High Schools and is now ranked 260th out of 305 New Jersey High Schools. 


"I expect Hoboken to be a model for educational excellence for all diverse communities"- Hoboken Superintendent Dr. Christine Johnson (2015-present) 





A question people are starting to ask....

Friday, December 7, 2018

2018 PARCC Mathematics Scores For All Hoboken 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Grades - Every Charter District Above 50th Statewide Percentile, Hoboken City Schools Below 50th Percentile for All Grades

9th and Bloomfield St- Hoboken, NJ (1900)
The following are the scores and ranks for the 2018 New Jersey PARCC Mathematics assessments. The information provided here supplies 1) the total number of public schools ranked for each grade level in New Jersey; 2) the rank of each district in Hoboken by grade level in New Jersey; and 3) the actual raw PARCC score average for the 4 districts in Hoboken (Hoboken City District, Hoboken Charter District , Hola Dual Language District, and Elysian School District). Finally, a percentile score is presented which gives a sense of where the district is ranked among all the other NJ public school districts on the particular grade level PARCC assessment for 2018. 

Not a single tested grade level is scoring above 50% in the Hoboken School District in Mathematics. As I explained in previous posts, Mathematics in general and Algebra in particular are a civil rights issue as explained eloquently by mathematician and civil rights leader Robert Moses


note: "Hoboken City" represents the traditional Hoboken Public Schools (Connors, Calabro, Wallace)


2018 PARCC RESULTS
PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN HOBOKEN
ELEMENTARY  MATHEMATICS 

3rd Grade Mathematics (560 Total NJ Districts)


Hoboken CS  Rank #22  Score= 782  Percentile= 96.07
Hola CS  Rank #39 Score= 776 Percentile= 93.03
Elysian CS Rank #151 Score= 764 Percentile= 73.03
Hoboken City Rank #327 Score= 750 Percentile= 41.06


Click to Enlarge

4th Grade Mathematics (552 Total NJ Districts) 

Hoboken CS     Rank #8        Score= 780     Percentile= 98.55     
Elysian CS        Rank #95      Score= 765     Percentile= 82.79
Hola CS            Rank #151    Score= 759     Percentile= 72.64     
Hoboken City   Rank #327    Score= 750     Percentile= 40.76  


Click to Enlarge

5th Grade Mathematics (559 Total NJ Districts) 

Hola CS            Rank #51      Score= 770     Percentile= 90.87
Elysian CS        Rank #74      Score= 767     Percentile= 86.76  
Hoboken CS     Rank #118    Score= 762     Percentile= 78.89
Hoboken City   Rank #463    Score= 735     Percentile= 17.17 


Click to Enlarge

6th Grade Mathematics (553 NJ Districts) 

Hoboken CS     Rank #32      Score= 767     Percentile= 94.21
Hola CS            Rank #67      Score= 761     Percentile= 87.88 
Elysian CS        Rank #92      Score= 759     Percentile= 83.36
Hoboken City   Rank #366    Score= 739     Percentile= 33.81


Click to Enlarge

7th Grade Mathematics (505 NJ Districts) 

Hoboken CS     Rank #20      Score= 768     Percentile= 96.03
Hola CS            Rank #61      Score= 761     Percentile= 87.92   
Elysian CS        Rank #305    Score= 742     Percentile= 39.60
Hoboken City   Rank #485    Score= 721     Percentile= 3.96


Click to Enlarge

8th Grade Mathematics (473 NJ Districts)* 

Hola CS            Rank #10      Score= 764     Percentile= 97.88
Elysian CS        Rank #297    Score= 726     Percentile= 37.21
Hoboken City   Rank #454    Score= 701     Percentile= 4.02


Click to Enlarge

*Hoboken CS Algebra I in Grade 8 so not ranked on Grade 8 Mathematics

Those interested in Hoboken High School, might be interested in seeing how the school recently did on the 2018 New Jersey Monthly Bi-Annual statewide ranking by clicking HERE

Source: Click Here
     

"I expect Hoboken to be a model for educational excellence for all diverse communities"- Hoboken Superintendent Dr. Christine Johnson (2015-present) 


Saturday, December 1, 2018

N.J. District is Segregating Black Students, suit says


Hoboken,NJ. - Mayor Cooke was the mayor of Hoboken
from 1912 to 1915. That is Demerest High School in the background.

FULL STORY: Inside the suburban South Orange Maplewood School District, parents for years have accused the district of systemically depriving African American students of access to challenging classes. 
Now they've taken their grievances to federal court. (Click for video/audio)
The Black Parents Workshop filed a civil rights lawsuit against the district on Tuesday alleging the decades-long practice of placing students in tiered classes based on test scores or their perceived abilities (known as leveling) was discriminatory and disproportionately hurt African American students.
The suit also accuses the district of maintaining de facto segregation with one predominantly black elementary school and five elementary schools that are overwhelming white. That percolates through to the district's high school, where black students are more likely to be placed in lower-level courses when compared to their white peers, the suit said. 
"What we have in the South Orange Maplewood School District is a public school system where children are segregated by race in its elementary schools, (and) experience few black teachers in their classrooms," said Walter Fields, chairman of the parent advocacy group that filed the suit.
"African-American children are subjected to punishment for offenses that their white peers also commit but receive lesser punishment, and where all students walk through the same front door at Columbia High School but are then segregated by race in classrooms due to the district's embrace of tracking and leveling."
During a school board meeting last week, the district moved to eliminate 11 levels in math and science courses at the high school and middle schools, instead offering academic or honors courses for most core STEM classes.
At the meeting, Interim Superintendent Thomas Ficarra said it was time to start making changes, given that 2016-17 data show 65 percent of African American students were enrolled in the two lowest levels of Geometry, and none met expectations on the state standardized exam.