Folks, the Patch poll claiming Hoboken City District schools are New Jersey's "9th Most Violent" is so cooked I'd serve it for lunch-- if wasn't rotten.
Patch cherry-picked data from the 2012-2013 NJDOE Commissioner's report on "Violence, Vandalism and Substance Abuse in New Jersey Schools" . The Patch poll EXCLUDED:
1. Weapons incidents: guns, knives, etc.Well folks, that's bullshit. Guns, knives, drugs, vandalism, bullying in schools- all markers of gang activity and of violence- were excluded from a list of "most violent" school districts? Why the selective criteria if the metric is "violence"? Why exclude Charters?
2. Drug use/sale/possession incidents: 'crack' cocaine, 'weed', alcohol, etc.
5. Districts with less than 500 students
6. Charter schools
7. Districts that do not have High Schools
8. Patch only used "Violence" incidents
Using the SAME NJDOE report, GA and a friend assembled a comprehensive list of "Most Violent" New Jersey School Districts, using ALL NJDOE data: reported criminal activity (weapons, drugs, vandalism), anti-social violence (bullying) and undefined "violence". Charters are included (purple font). All districts, large and small, with or without high schools are included. The only exclusion: special services districts.
We used the same methodology as the Patch poll- a 'ratio' of student population to TOTAL incidents reported. The higher the ratio, the more "violent".
TOP 50 "MOST VIOLENT" NJ SCHOOL DISTRICTS
- Visions Academy Charter School .182
- Community Charter School of Paterson .133
- Lawnside Boro (Camden) .100
- The Barack Obama Green Charter HS .092
- Asbury Park (Monmouth) .091
- Hatikvah Int’l Charter School .090
- Hope Academy Charter School .082
- Commercial Township (Cumberland) .077
- Pride Academy Charter School .075
- Prospect Park Boro (Passaic) .073
- Paul Robertson Humanities Charter School .070
- Foundation Academy Charter School .068
- Hopewell Township (Cumberland) .067
- Deerfield Township (Cumberland) .062
- New Horizons Community Charter School .062
- Highland Park (Middlesex) .061
- University Heights Charter School .059
- Neptune City (Monmouth) .057
- Egg Harbor City (Atlantic) .055
- Mercer City Vocational (Mercer) .054
- Liberty Academy Charter School .054
- University Academy Charter School .054
- Great Oaks Charter School .053
- Pine Hill Boro (Camden) .053
- Village Charter School .053
- Academy Charter HS .052
- Cumberland County Vocational (Cumberland) .051
- Monmouth Regional (Monmouth) .050
- Wildwood City (Cape May) .047
- Deal Boro (Monmouth) .047
- Lakewood Twp (Ocean) .046
- Kingdom CS of Leadership .046
- DUE Season Charter School .046
- Waterford Township (Cape May) .045
- Burlington County Vocational (Burlington) .045
- Mahwah Township (Bergen) .044
- Butler Boro (Morris) .043
- Newark Educators Charter School .043
- Burlington City (Burlington) .042
- Ringwood Boro (Passiac) .042
- Rockaway Boro (Morris) .042
- Cumerbland Regional (Cumberland) .042
- Franklin Twp (Warren) .041
- Belmar (Monmouth) .040
- Keansburg (Monmouth) .040
- High Point Regional (Sussex) .040
- Mount Holly Township (Burlington) .040
- Blackhorse Pike regional (Camden) .040
- Camden City Vocational (Camden) .040
- South Bound Brook (Somerset) .040
- Hoboken City (Hudson) .040
Hoboken School District is not "#9 Most Violent" in New Jersey, that's BS. Take a look. Six of the "top ten" are Charters.
So why the cooked Patch 'poll'?
GA says this is another hit job on the Hoboken Public School District to manipulate public opinion at a time when NJDOE Commissioner Cerf is deciding whether to expand one of our Charter Schools, HoLa. Torturing NJDOE data to make Hoboken Public Schools "9th Most Violent" is a cynical strategy to win support at the state level for the HoLa Charter expansion, and at the local level because the expansion means higher school taxes or budget cuts in our public schools. What better incentive to swallow a bitter pill like tax increases than to scare the public with tales of "violent" public schools?
And what better means to disseminate false information than trafficking twisted poll data through the mainstream media?
This is the exactly same tactic used when that silly, unscientific Trulia real estate blog post, "America's Least Attractive School District" was published in The Wall Street Journal.
Remember that? Well, did you know the WSJ's Education Reporter was Barbara Martinez, President of HoLa Board of Trustees? That same crap Truila-Wall Street Journal poll was used prominently against Kids First in the 2012 school board campaign. Here is what the WSJ Education Reporter Martinez wrote in The Hoboken Reporter on April 12, 2009:
Every year hundreds of parents line up for a small number of spots at the charter and private schools. Clearly, they are looking for more than what the district offers. Instead of embracing a low-cost way to bring in more kids (and lower the per-pupil costs) and increase test scores (which should be a major goal), Kids First destroyed a fabulous, value-generating opportunity. That’s nothing to be proud of.Another day, another attack on Hoboken public schools, our dedicated School Board members, and our terrific Superintendent Mark Toback. This time, it's with a garbage poll timed to justify a controversial expansion of HoLa Charter School.
Here's one 'tell': political operatives are all over this poll- on Facebook, on nj.com.
Here's another 'tell'- from Patch': "we omitted Charter Schools".
Here is the full NJDOE report- Patch used the "violence" column only (oops...they 'forgot' weapons, drugs, property damage...)