Monday, November 7, 2016

Hoboken District Resident K-12 Enrollment down 16.3% from 2008-09 to 2015-16

There has been a fair amount of discussion and claims concerning whether the enrollment in the Hoboken Public Schools is increasing or decreasing. The question is fairly simple but its important to distinguish how the count is being made and the justification. I would like to present here the clearest possible answer to the question and provide rationale. The enrollment I am going to look at is the K-12 Resident Enrollment of the Hoboken Public Schools for the years 2008-09 and 2015-16 . My rationale follows: 

Question 1- Why K-12? 
The Hoboken District has traditionally outsourced to other providers most of Pre Kindergarten instruction. These outside providers are run autonomously but with some oversight by the Hoboken School District. Also, at various times over the past 7 years, some of the PreK students have been in-district and at other times have been with the providers. For clarity, I think its best to take the PreK students out of the analysis. 

Click to Enlarge
note: y-axis has a non zero origin

Question 2- What do you mean by "Resident"? Sounds like you are trying to hide something. 
As many of you know, in the spring of 2009 I helped bring choice students to the Hoboken School District. The original intent of that request was to bring into the district 10-20 students a year. However, since that initial request, the choice program has grown beyond its original intentions. In addition, the Hoboken School District receives money for these students from the sending districts and the State of NJ. There are currently over 150 students in the choice program--- mostly concentrated in the high school. Again, for clarity purposes, I have excluded choice students from this analysis. To be clear, choice students are wonderful students and contribute to the school community. Their exclusion from the analysis should not be interpreted as a rejection of the program or of the students who travel to our town each day and participate positively and meaningfully to the district. 

Question 3- Why did you choose the school years 2008-09 and 2015-16? 
I choose the school year 2008-09 because that was the last full academic school year before the so-called "reformers" took majority control of the Hoboken Board of Education. I choose the 2015-16 school year because that is the most recent year I have data for from the NJ Department of Education. 

Question 4- What was your methodology? 
Fairly straight forward. I took NJDOE numbers from the Fall Survey Results for the Hoboken School District (these include Choice students) and subtracted the number of Choice students. I then arrived at the number of resident students: 
(Resident Students + Choice Students) - (Choice Students) = Resident Students 

Question 5- Where did you obtain the number of choice students for the Hoboken School District? 
I made a request to the NJDOE and they provided me with the proper data. In order to obtain this data you must answer a series of questions. You can also try to contact the Hoboken School District, they may have the data available for public distribution in some form. For those interested, I have clearance to work with Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) data. 

Question 6- Does your analysis include K-12 resident students sent out of district? 

Question 7? What are the results? 
The K-12 Hoboken District Resident Enrollment has gone from 1932 Hoboken resident students to 1617 Hoboken resident students over the past 7 years or a decline of -16.3%.