Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Kids First's Campaign claim of "continued educational improvement for all children in the district" translates to the traditional public schools of Hoboken having the highest rate of violence and vandalism in Hudson County and higher rates of violence and vandalism than the Atlantic City, Camden, Patterson and Newark School Districts

Kids First incumbents seeking Re-Election
based on their claim of "continued educational
improvement for all children in the district"
There is literally no end to the wonderful things that Kids First claims they have done since they first took full control of the Hoboken Public Schools back in 2009. Just read their campaign literature and you'll find that they want to "continue" the educational improvement they have initiated. It has already been shown that "continued educational improvement for all children in the district" translates to the high school being ranked 344th out of 352 high schools in NJ, a district designated a "District in Need of Improvement" for the first time in history by the State of New Jersey, and Connors Elementary School obtaining a ranking of 1,418 out of 1,438 elementary schools in NJ

Now there is even more data on the "continued educational improvement for all children in the district" but this time it comes in the form of the annual violence and vandalism report mandated by the New Jersey Department of Education. I'll leave it to others to decide whether the following data satisfies their notion of continued improvement. But, I believe these numbers are due in no small part to Kids First policy decisions that have led to high administrative turnover in the schools, high administrative turnover in the district, and not funding programs focusing on school safety.  -Dr. Petrosino

The 2011-2012 Commissioner’s Annual Report to the Education Committee of the Senate and General Assembly on Violence, Vandalism, and Substance Abuse in New Jersey Schools was released in October 2012 by Commissioner Christopher D. Cerf. 

The report indicates that total incidents of self-reported occurrences of violence, vandalism, weapons, substance abuse, and bullying in the Hoboken City District are 320% above the Hudson County average and 210% above the State of New Jersey average. Except for the small East Newark School district (total student pop. 229), the Hoboken public schools have the highest number of incidents per student* in Hudson County (4.05 incidents per 100 students in the Hoboken Public Schools; County average 1.3 incidents per 100 students). Hoboken schools make up 2.19% of Hudson County's public school population yet account for 7% of the total incidents reported countywide. 

Around the state, Atlantic City (2.13 incidents per 100 students), Camden (1.6 incidents per 100 students), Newark (.9 incidents per 100 students), and Paterson (1.0 incidents per 100 students) school districts reported less incidents per 100 students than Hoboken while Asbury Park (10.13 incidents per 100 students) reported significantly higher. Bullying accounted for less of a percentage of total incidents in Hoboken (21.4%) than Hudson County (36.1%) and statewide (46.0%). 

Hudson County Vocational School had the least number of incidents in Hudson County with .07 incidents per 100 students.  

* Keep in mind, you cannot go by totals only. You need to account for the size of the district as well (incidents per student). If you do not, the bigger districts will almost always have more total number of incidents. Generally, "incidents per 100 students" is a reasonable and acceptable way to communicate results such as these in educational research and policy.  

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Full report:

DISTRICT (Hudson) Students in 
Total Violence and Vandalism Acts Violence and Vandalism per pupil Violence and Vandalism Incidents per 100 pupils

1272 1 0.001 0.08
W. NEW YORK  7805 37 0.005 0.47
WEEHAWKEN  1232 8 0.006 0.65
BAYONNE CITY 9418 74 0.008 0.79
NORTH BERGEN  7819 71 0.009 0.91
JERSEY CITY 27394 353 0.013 1.29
KEARNY  5920 85 0.014 1.44
SECAUCUS  2156 32 0.015 1.48
UNION CITY 10800 179 0.017 1.66
HARRISON  2031 45 0.022 2.22
GUTTENBERG  931 22 0.024 2.36
HOBOKEN  1726 70 0.041 4.06
EAST NEWARK  229 22 0.096 9.61

Violence and Vandalism Incident per 100 students
Asbury Park 
Atlantic City

Here is the latest data from 2012-2013...totals for 2012-13 (69) are not significantly different that 2011-12 (70).

"Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job..." 

Photo: Published in an online story by The Jersey Journal/NJ.COM by Charles Hack, September 21, 2013