Hoboken High Drops to Bottom 50 Public Schools in NJ Monthly Ranking

The last time NJ Monthly did the study, Hoboken High was ranked number 187. This year it's down to number 298.

Hoboken High School has dropped significantly in NJ Monthly's biennial ranking of the state's public schools. 

While in 2010—the last time the study was done—Hoboken's high school ranked number 187 out of 328, this year it's down to number 298. 

The data upon which the magazine bases its research, are based on the Department of Education most recent report cards.

According to the statistics used by the magazine, Hoboken High's percentage of students who are proficient or advanced in language—based on High School Proficiency Assessment test scores—is 2.1 percent. In math, it's 1.4 percent of students who are either proficient or advanced. 

Twelfth grade enrollment is 150 students. The school's average class size is 20 students. 

Superintendent Dr. Mark Toback was not immediately available on Tuesday afternoon to comment on the newly released rankings.

The graduation rate of the high school is 81.99 percent, according to the ranking. New Providence High—the number one in the state—is 97.7 percent. New Providence ranked so high, according to the magazine, because of increased test scores and smaller class sizes. 

The average combined SAT score at HHS is 1157. For the top three ranked public schools in the state, this score is between 1730 and 1820.

The Thomas Jefferson Arts Academy in Elizabeth closes the list at number 328 and a graduation rate of 53.55 percent.

pied piper August 22, 2012 at 02:24 AM
The budget has been cut down nearly 20% pp from 25k to 22k(using hte highest pp numbers) (at one time down to 21pp). The levy has remained flat for 3 years compared with 10% increases of "machine era years" Staffing levels are some 75 staff lower. multiple new intitiatives, programs and changes were recently implemented including AP which you will note was non existant prior to 2011. in 2010 year all kids were tested (the 10r scam stopped) thus now the district is help responsible for HSPA for all students, teh 10r and the alternative school students- which wasalso relocated from demarest back into the HS in 2010. all of the data can be found in the budget docs and on hte njdoe websites. but dont let those facts stand in your way.
Journey August 22, 2012 at 03:30 AM
And if the school was #139 based on the school report cards. Where were the 11th graders? If all the students were not being tested, then the state report card would not have been very accurate. At best the district had some record keeping problems, invalidating everything, and at worst, they were using gimmicks to cook the test score books.
David A. Liebler August 22, 2012 at 03:32 AM
The current BOE should all resign. They are all about the politics and the power. Kids First...BS...They should rename themselves Politics First, Kids Second. Why in the world are we not taking advantage of Stevens Tech and that relationship I will never understand. Kids from other towns get scholarships to Stevens. Hoboken has zero. The entire curriculum needs a complete overhaul. Furthermore, if you really want to change things. Start over. Build from the ground up. Review what the Harlem charter schools are doing. Besides the obvious that good schools mean a better education for our Hoboken kids...how about the secondary benefit ....Great Schools = Better Home Values. People want to live in a town that is safe, low taxes and great schools. Very simple formula. Unfortunately, Hoboken continues to do the same thing over and over. Definition of insanity.
Jerry Smith August 22, 2012 at 05:45 AM
I like how most people have based this school. However, they don't have a first hand look at Hoboken High. This year, I was an eighth-grader at the school. And though most would say it is a dump, every teacher there has tried their very best to turn around the tide that has become the high school it is today.Because of my experience, it isn't anybody's fault but the children who are going there. They just don't care, and it is the result of pop culture these years. Subjects like rap music, reality shows like jersey shore and keeping up with the kardashians, are stuck in that generation's mind. Subjects like defiance and, unforetunately, sex have infected their minds. I, on the other hand, am not even attending Hoboken High next year. Though, the environment could be better, and the staff is pretty good, the students just don't care. So please do not bash a school because of reports you hear. The environment could be better, however the next generation iance just too immersed in social media these days and they have become influenced by it.
Laurie Michelson August 22, 2012 at 11:26 AM
Yet we are the second best for singles? This is a very sad situation.
Roll Back Our Tax August 22, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Thanks Hoboken. You're # 298 on the list. Hopatcong is #289. We'll be changing places next year. https://www.box.com/s/7c300516930c32f71a8e If you care to comment on our site....please do. http://hopatcong.patch.com/articles/hopatcong-h-s-drops-to-289th-in-nj-monthly-rankings#comment_4439988
peanut August 22, 2012 at 01:16 PM
These numbers are a disgrace. Where is all the money we are paying in taxes going? These kids can barely read on a remedial level. At least tenure is becoming harder to attain in NJ and as soon as all these old hags and humps retire you will be able to recruit younger and more motivated teachers. It's really a shame because all of my friends have been having children and staying in Hoboken in the last couple of years, but they would never send they're children to public schools in Hoboken. If the public schools were above average we wouldn't lose the most affluent and productive members of our community who refuse to pay considerable amounts of taxes and get nothing in return
CuriousGal August 22, 2012 at 02:37 PM
4 principals in less than 3 yrs under Kids First, 3rd worst graduation rate in Hudson County, a school that has failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress for 2 years in a row, and now we hear that Hoboken High is ranked in the bottom 50 high schools in the state. All this in a school district where over 90% of students attend a school that has failed to make AYP for 2 years in a row and in November of 2011 was officially designated a "District in Need of Improvement" for the first time in its history by the State of New Jersey.
pied piper August 22, 2012 at 02:40 PM
David, It's unfortunate that you speak before you bother to gain any information. There is a working relationship with Stevens Tech. The curriculum was just overhauled TheyT are building from the ground up Harlem charter schools REQUIRE parent involvement , have hours from 7:15am-5:00 pm (are you willing to pay teachers for that?) There admin gets 376k per year (are you willing to pay for that?)- teachers make about 125k per year and their staff attrition rate is ridiculously high. I thought you wanted stabiity? They get hundreds of millions of dollar in donations from hedgefunders and other charities. and have a horrendous record of manintaining harder to educate students, as many parents leave due to the strict demand and requirements of Harlem charter schools. Futhermore, they have little to no special need or ESL students. Their population far differs from those in the district schools. Please get educated about the issues you wish to speak upon.
puzzledone August 22, 2012 at 02:42 PM
To all who wish to turn this into a political football: Just a note that these SAT scores are based on cumulative achievement over 10+ years of schooling. As a result, current and prior school boards (even those before the students got there who brought in teachers who are now tenured) are ALL responsible. The intelligent debate is how we can best use our money on a go forward basis and what is the right basis of measurement is a reasonable question. For example, I believe the new higher number of kindergarten classrooms shows a higher level of trust is developing at lower levels, which I hope will continue to develop into higher academic achievement as these children grow.
puzzledone August 22, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Laurie, I believe this is a reflection on the demographics and cost level wherein the affluent singles marry off and move to the suburbs. Certainly the singles living in town now are not the same people raising the people who took the SATs last year.
Jay Rattigan August 22, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Full disclosure - I am a parent but my daughter attends private school. I am not an educator but am a taxpayer and follow the progress in the public school system. I agree with Puzzledone on the reasons for optimism, however, I think we remain years from seeing results in the high school. Families are staying in town longer and as a result the lower schools are experiencing higher enrollment. Educated, engaged parents in the system will result in an engaged student body. But this will take time to make its way to the high school.
lorraine morgan August 22, 2012 at 03:34 PM
glad you mentioned the increase in the number of kindergarten classrooms, which also led to more teacher hirings (new patronage jobs) but of course the new hires are all the most qualified because Kids First would NEVER EVER approve of anyone but the BEST for Hoboken students.
pied piper August 22, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Oh and David,just top be clear: there IS a HHS senior who will be attending Stevens on a full 4 year scholarship as well as the Valedictorian who received a full ride to Wharton. Just wondering why you didn't post that info yourself, since you seem to know so much about education and how to correct all the educational issues pertaining to public schools. That is unless, your plan was to dump on the kids and their schools to spread your political agenda.
puzzledone August 22, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Lorraine, by your sarcastic logic, any government or privae sector job could be conceived as a patronage or favortism job. Do you have any shred of proof, or are you just throwing around allegations?
franksinatra August 22, 2012 at 06:15 PM
puzzle -- as i mentioned above, the number of employees working for the school system keeps rising while the number of students keep falling, despite the extra kindergartners. Pied above claims that the staff numbers are actually lower, but she's not counting the cafeteria workers that Raslowsky spun off to a private company. As for patronage, just in June the school system hired the daughter of our old (not very competent) business administrator, Davis, to fill a new $50,000 a year job (complete with all the gold-plated union bennies) that was just created. Was this a job created just to fill it with a patronage hire? Is she qualified for this job that didn't exist before June? Was giving Davis' daughter a job a sort of retirement sendoff to Davis? Who knows? just asking. Let's hope she's more on the ball than Davis, who endlessly confused numbers and didn't even realize before it was too late that we couldn't cut the tax levy without getting special permission from Trenton, according to a story last year in the Reporter.
David A. Liebler August 22, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Pied Piper, your right. The schools and Hoboken HS are just fine the way they are. Let's not continue to push for better when you can settle for the bottom or the barrel. This has nothing to do with politics, this has to do with making things better. Hoboken residents who are considering sending their kids to the high school are doing so because they are underwater in their condo and can't move yet. Having a culture of High School students that do not care is not a good sign. Hoboken High School should be turned around as a new high school. Private High School = Prep academy, where the students where uniformed attire and have a strict curriculum of support to guide their way to graduation and college acceptance. To your comment about paying extra for extra time for teachers willing to work longer or extended hours...yes I do believe we should pay more for that! Extra time - extra pay
puzzledone August 22, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Frankly, I have no idea about the patronge hires under either administration, and I don't claim to be an insider. I was commenting that Lorraine's comment was a bit over the top, given claims of 1-2 patronage hires that I've heard. Of course, I would love to be able to compare the two boards objectively, the biggest problem is that in the old group, it appears many people were paying paid who's names are forever lost to the system, apparently due to a "systems glitch", so we have no real way to see how much money was going to friends and family, even those without jobs. We do have evidence of A/C techs going to A.C. and dinner's at Frankie and Johnnie's, none of which seem to provide any benefits to our students, and that worries me quite a bit about anyone coming in from the old group. By the way, your old post said per pupil costs were almost as high as ever, does that mean that we are now approaching the levels that were attained under the prior administration.
Scott M. Siegel August 22, 2012 at 08:12 PM
The scores between the traditional high school and the charters in negligible.
franksinatra August 23, 2012 at 01:06 AM
yes puzzle, it was $23,870 per pupil in hoboken last year, according to the NJ school report card online. that's the second-highest for a k-12 district in the state, behind asbury park, and about $1,000 lower than the peak for hoboken a few years back. progress, yes, but not nearly enough, given all the fat in the budget and how easy it would be to cut if KF would just focus on it.
pied piper August 23, 2012 at 03:15 AM
David, Again your absolute and total ignorance of local educational itiiatives is asounding. Have you not bothered to read even one or two pages of information about your own local school district othear of the great many new intitatives put into place? The entire board and Superintendent have been working hard for the past few years implementing new initatives, classes, programming, new curriculumwith upgraded improvements, staff development, after school enrichment, summer enrichments, lap top programs, AP classes,and new text books are only a few of the recently implemented programs and improvements to help improve the district and bring it to the best it can be. Furthermore, If you are so clueless the that you cannot understand that : 1- Some 40% of the 11th grade students were not tested (scores not accounted for)during the past administration and that testing that additonal 40% will indicate drastic changes in the test scores. 2- That educational improvements don't do a 180 turn overnight and 3- honestly believe that parents in the district wouldnt want any school to perform at it's maximum ability. then there is absolutely no point in having any cogent discussion with you. As to your ideas of improving education: uniforms? and what exactly is a strict curriculum of support to guide their way to graduation and college? Pleased provide your academic licences and experience. A srtict curriculum of support?
pied piper August 23, 2012 at 03:26 AM
THE STAFF NUMBERS ARE SOME 75 STAFF LOWER- I dont think I can be any clearer. You may not like that fact- but it is a fact. Just the fact that the levy has remained flat for 3 years -even though you kept screaming for 2 of those years, that the budget would explode. As to your patronage nonsense- Give it up! Every person hired for every postion is properly licensed and experienced, very very unlike your (past board member) buddies who held board postions and superintendent postions. Why don't you try something new: the lies ain't workin.
CuriousGal August 23, 2012 at 12:57 PM
A quick estimate shows per pupil costs in Hoboken over $30,000 per student. I'll explain. The approved budget for 2012-13 is $63million. Subtract $7million for charter schools and another $9million for preschool and that leaves $47million. There are 1512 students in the district (K-12). That leaves a per pupil cost of over $47million spent on 1512 students or roughly $31,300 per K-12 student. Details: 1) Preschool population (649) is left out of calculations since the $9million was also taken out of the total estimated budget. These students are taught by contracted providers. Costs are much lower (13,900 per student). 2) Charter schools are servicing about 750 children for $9million ($12,000 per student)
CuriousGal August 24, 2012 at 01:32 PM
PP- Kids First went $300,000 over the levy with the recent budget. Rather than give it back to the taxpayers, they said it was "too small" and kept it. In the same breath, the patted themselves on the back for moving the elections and saving $50,000. School budget = Municipal (levy) + state + federal. Kids First spends $27million OVER the minimum levy imposed as an Abbott district via state and federal funds. Something you want us to believe is "free" money. The last time I checked, I pay city, state and federal taxes. The per pupil costs for K-12 education in Hoboken for children in the traditional Hoboken public schools is over $30,000. That's the little secret no one wants to talk about.
Scott M. Siegel August 24, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Frank: Once again we are 99.994% at the minimum levy. Also once again CG gets her numbers wrong. Hoboken received a $300,000 grant via No Child Left Behind. That put the district $160,000 over the minimum levy vs. a $37 million levy. KF has cut the budget to almost the lowest level possible. They would have cut more, but that would be illegal Frank. I know your side doesn't care about what is legal or proper but KF sure does.
puzzledone August 24, 2012 at 02:59 PM
CG, why is it that when Chris Christie bailed out the hospital deal, you bragged about the minority saving the city $5 million, but now you are complaining about state and federal dollars paid to our schools? Are you saying we should give those funds back, I doubt the state and feds would cut taxes if we did, probably just fall out of another hole in the leaky bucket. If we can't lower the levee more than a relatively inconsequential $300,000 (you weren't too concerned when $1 million in quarters went missing, so I don't think $300K should bother you that much), we shouldn't bond, instead we should pay for everything out of a surplus that was already used to pay down the garage, we can't cut police or fire, or any other services, then what do you suggest we do in order to lower the tax burden on our town?
David A. Liebler August 24, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Pied Piper, you must work within to be this clueless. "While in 2010—the last time the study was done—Hoboken's high school ranked number 187 out of 328, this year it's down to number 298." THINGS ARE REALLY TURNING AROUND QUICKLY. GREAT JOB EVERYONE!!!!
CuriousGal August 30, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Today we learn that the Zimmer supported Kids First majority Hoboken School District is the LEAST ATTRACTIVE DISTRICT in the United States. Who says that? Not any enemies of Dawn. Not any anonymous bloggers. No, the Wall Street Journal says it: http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2012/08/28/biggest-back-to-school-purchase-a-new-home/ Tough week. NJ Monthly notes an over 100 place drop in state rankings for the high school and the Wall Street Journal calls us the least attractive school district in the USA. Thankfully we have Dr. Toback and Scotty to tell us everything is on track and AOK.
CuriousGal September 02, 2012 at 04:17 AM
When Scott M. Siegel says "KF has cut the budget to almost the lowest level possible" he confuses the yearly BOE budget with the minimum levy the municipality must appropriate to be in compliance with Abbott. Like all other Abbott districts, by NJ State law, Hoboken must spend at least a determined amount determined by a formula ($36 million in the case of Hoboken) on the education of its students. The actual budget for 2012-2013 is about $63.1 million. Only Scott Siegel will argue til he's blue in the face that $36 million is $63.1 million dollars.
Libby October 08, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Why isn't anyone talking about the parents responsibility? There's nothing wrong with the buildings, nothing wrong with the teachers, nothing wrong with the young students starting out... Everything wrong with the parental role models. There is a mentality that you aren't supposed yo work to earn something, your supposed to be given ... They learn that from their patents. Uniforms and strict rules and displine in the grade schools is how yo change the high school. At Connors there's a sign in cafeteria " no running on tables" at Hoboken charter volume of dpeech at lunch has to be in s quiet voice and if not it will be a dilent lunch. Just an example of what parents want. Connors parents have no respect for authority, they don't want s better life for thier children unless you want yo just hand it to them. Put the blame where it belongs on the shoulders of the parents.


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