White exodus from Hoboken Public Schools?

Previously on the Hoboken Board of Education, Dr. Anthony Petrosino still continues to offer insight into the woes of the school system in the Mile Square. Take a look at a recent article about what could be construed as “white exodus” from the Hoboken schools. Is the Hoboken educational system so bad that some families, despite funding the school system via (exorbitant) property taxes, willing to pay so much more to send their kids elsewhere?

pulling out of hoboken schools

Documenting the White Exodus and Stable Black and Hispanic Enrollment of the Hoboken Public Schools

Via Hoboken Curriculum Project

The 2018-19 New Jersey Department of Education’s Enrollment District Reported Data contains a great deal of information concerning enrollment data for all public school districts in New Jersey. This is data which allschool districts in New Jersey are required to report to the Department of Education. This data provides a backdrop for this post.

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I have been teaching a course entitled “Learning Science and STEAM Reform”  for graduate students in STEM Education as well as doctoral students in Educational Administration. As part of the course, we read a book by Dr. Molly Makris entitled “Public Housing and School Choice: Youth Experiences of Uneven Opportunity“published by Palgrave Macmillan. The book was the winner of the 2016 AESA Critics’ Choice Book Award. The book uses an interdisciplinary approach to urban education policy to examine the formal education and physical environment of young people from low-income backgrounds and demonstrate how gentrification shapes these circumstances. The book looks specifically at students from the City of Hoboken but resonates with educators and researchers from all over the country.

One phenomena described in the book is the enrollment of students in the public school system. I have updated some of the data to include the most recent Hoboken Public School enrollment data for the 2018-19 school year and have created 3 charts of K-12 district enrollment by gender for three subgroups of students- specifically, subgroups that the district identifies as white, black, and hispanic. I have also created a fourth chart which attempts to look at socio-economic trends in the district.

The 2018-19 data indicate some interesting trends– most obvious is the consistent decline of white students from the Hoboken Public Schools beginning in late elementary school as opposed to the fairly stable black and hispanic populations. How pronounced is this phonemena? In kindergarten there are a total of 195 white students (86 of which were identified as female by the district) but by senior year (12th grade) in Hoboken High School there are only 9 white students (1 of which was identified as female by the district).

Students the district identified as black or hispanic actually show a slight increase during the high school years. I suspect this is due to the over 158 students the district brings into town for the “Choice” program (see also this post for additional information about the CHOICE program on district and high school enrollment).

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Figure 1: 2018-19 White Enrollment by Grade and Gender
Hoboken Public School District
CLICK TO ENLARGE

 

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Figure 2: 2018-19 Black Enrollment by Grade and Gender
Hoboken Public School District
CLICK TO ENLARGE

 

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Figure 3: 2018-19 Hispanic Enrollment by Grade and Gender
Hoboken Public School District
CLICK TO ENLARGE

Questions to reflect upon….

What factors might be contributing to the K-12 enrollment trend for white students?

What factors might be contributing to the K-12 enrollment trend for black students?

What factors might be contributing to the K-12 enrollment trend for hispanic students?

Finally, here is a chart (Figure 4) that contains a fair amount of information concerning percentage “free or reduced lunch” status, enrollment by grade, and additional trend lines as of October 2018 (latest data available).

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Figure 4: Enrollment and FRL Percentages
Hoboken School District
Data: NJDOE – ASSA Report October 2018

What additional information does this chart provide in addition to Figures 1, 2, and 3 and the Makris book?

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