Thursday, March 17, 2016

Non Poverty, Non Special Education Families Leaving Hoboken School District Much Earlier than 2010, District K-12 Enrollment Drops 24% from 2010

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The 2015 "October 15th" report has been released. This report is also known as the ASSA report (Application for State School Aid)*. What is clear from the data is that the Kindergarten grade of the Hoboken School District is made up of 65% non-low income (middle and upper class) students for the school year 2015-16. Parents ARE choosing to send their children to the traditional public schools. But, the disaggregated data indicates that this percentage is more than fully reversed by 12th grade when only 22% of the grade is non-low income and 78% are low income students. In fact, most non_poverty families have left the school district by 4th grade. Also, look at the drop in enrollment (yellow bars) from 3rd (161 students) to 4th grade (79 students). The slight rise in secondary school (grades 9 to 12) comes largely from the 166 school choice students from Jersey City and surrounding cities not from Hoboken students of resident families. 

* ASSA data reported for this desegregated analysis does not include students designated as "special education" by the NJDOE. Further analysis including these students is in preparation. Special Education students are not reported by grade (K, 1, 2, 3, etc...) on the ASSA but rather by grade band (elementary, middle, secondary) and thus were excluded from this analysis. 

It might be advisable to review some of the data a little more closely and examine not why are non-low income parents not enrolling in the Hoboken Public Schools (because they are)....but why are parents with some financial resources taking their children out of the district? Why are middle class parents not satisfied? 

Two facts emerge: 1) Data indicates that non_poverty families are leaving the Hoboken School District earlier and earlier and 2) charter school enrollment does not indicate that the students leaving the Hoboken District are enrolling in Hoboken's charter schools. 

Here is the 2010 data presented in the same format. Notice that the red (low income) and blue (non_poverty) lines intersect much earlier in 2015-16 than they did 5 years ago. Not only is the Hoboken School District losing their majority of middle class families, they are losing them earlier and earlier (notice where the red and blue lines intersect). 

2010 ASSA Report
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Here is the data presented in a slightly different way. Notice the mass exodus of non_poverty, non special education families leaving the Hoboken Public Schools between 2nd and 5th grades.

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And as for enrollment....the K-12 non-special education student enrollment in the Hoboken School District has plummeted nearly 25% (23.51%) since 2010 (see Figure 4 and Figure 5 below). As one can see from the chart below, grade level enrollment is down for every grade from kindergarten to 12th grade from 2010 to 2015 with significant drops during grades 1 to 7. Also, keep in mind, there are 166 "choice" students in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 or the drops in those grades would be even more dramatic.

Figure 4

Figure 5

How Empty is Hoboken High School?-- very empty

For those interested, the current enrollment (2015-16) of grades 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 in the Hoboken High School Building (original capacity 1500) is 734 and that includes 166 "choice" students). Yet, some Board members insist the building is "full"....  See 59:00 minute mark of this video:  The truth of the matter is that the building known as Hoboken High School even with the addition of 2 extra grades from its original configuration is functioning at less than 49% of its original capacity.

Building Capacity Throughout the District

It is worth knowing that charter schools first started requesting room in the Hoboken Public Schools during the late 1990's. As we look at the figure below we see that between 2000 and 2001 that resulted in an 89% reduction of student capacity for the school buildings in the district? With a total K-12 student enrollment of 1555 in the district, the buildings are at 30% of their 2000 capacity. Add in the @600 students enrolled in preschool, and the district schools are at 41% of its 2000 capacity. 

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