Monday, September 22, 2014

Disaggregation of District Wide Data by Grade Reveals an Interesting Story in Hoboken, NJ

The Hoboken School District in Hoboken, NJ is currently engaged in a lawsuit with both the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) as well as the Hola Dual Language Charter School. The core of the lawsuit centers on a claim by the Hoboken Board of Education that charter schools in Hoboken are contributing to segregation and thus the NJDOE should consider 1) repealing the original charter for the Dual Language School and/or 2) should  deny the expansion of the Hola Dual Language Charter School from K-6 to K-8.

A look at 2010-11 disaggregated data seems to indicate that the Hoboken Public Schools start out with 70% of its students who do NOT come from families who qualify for free lunch. 

Disaggregation- verb (used with object), 1. to separate into its component parts; 2. to become separated from an aggregate or mass. 

However, by high school these percentages are reversed and the 12th grade has only 30% of its students who do not qualify for free lunch. As the disaggregated data shows there are at least 3 trends that are very evident in Hoboken: 1) In the early grades, the district is predominately middle class (70%); 2) a longitudinal view of the data by grade shows a continuous increase in students qualifying for free lunch, reaching a maximum of 70% by senior year; 3) the general enrollment in the Hoboken School District declines steadily from grades 1-12 (the slight "bump" in grades 10, 11, and 12 are due to "school choice" students coming to the district from out of Hoboken).

In an upcoming post we will explore what might be some other reasons other than segregation, "white-flight" and racism for this demographic trend in the Hoboken public schools.

Original 2010 Department of Education Data