Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hoboken High School Under Kids First Stewardship: 2nd Lowest High School Graduation Rate in Hudson County, 10th Biggest Drop in Graduation Rate in State of New Jersey

7th and Madison St playground - Circa 1974
In the latest data released by the New Jersey Department of Education in December of 2012, Hoboken High School reports a graduation rate of 74.53%, over 7% below last year's number and a 7.46% drop from last year's 81.99%. More disturbing, Hoboken's 74.53% graduation rate places it almost 12 percentage points below the State of New Jersey average and next to last in Hudson County. Jersey City with a graduation rate of 67.34% is the only community in Hudson County with a lower graduation rate. Hoboken's drop in graduation rate of 7.46% was the largest single year drop in all of Hudson County for 2012 and placed it 10th worst in the entire State of New Jersey (see charts and graphs below).

While this situation did not happen overnight, it happened quickly and in less than 4 years. Decisions such as the manner of removal of Dr. Lorraine Cella as principal of Hoboken High School, the decision to replace Dr. Cella with a retired interim high school principal with questionable past success, a high school with 4 principals in less than 3 years, and the recruiting of hundreds of "choice" students from out of the district for financial reasons certainly may be contributing factors. 

It is worth noting that a few short years ago, before Kids First took majority control of the Hoboken Board of Education, Hoboken High School was recognized as the 2nd Most Improved High School in the State of New Jersey by New Jersey Monthly Magazine to the bottom 50 of high school in New Jersey and was awarded consecutive US News and World Report Bronze Medal awards. However, since the political group known as "Kids First" came into full majority rule in May of 2009, the school and district has experienced a significant drop in academic standing, graduation rates, attendance, and disturbing news about violence and vandalism.

Data for the following analysis (see attachment) were obtained from the NJ DOE websites including:

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