Cooked Poll

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.
2. Drug use/sale/possession incidents: 'crack' cocaine, 'weed', alcohol, etc.
3. Vandalism 
4. Bullying
5. Districts with less than 500 students
6. Charter schools
7. Districts that do not have High Schools
8. Patch only used "Violence" incidents  
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?

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". 


  1. Visions Academy Charter School .182  
  2. Community Charter School of Paterson .133 
  3. Lawnside Boro (Camden) .100 
  4. The Barack Obama Green Charter HS .092 
  5. Asbury Park (Monmouth) .091  
  6. Hatikvah Int’l Charter School .090  
  7. Hope Academy Charter School .082 
  8. Commercial Township (Cumberland) .077  
  9. Pride Academy Charter School .075 
  10. Prospect Park Boro (Passaic) .073   
  11. Paul Robertson Humanities Charter School .070 
  12. Foundation Academy Charter School .068 
  13. Hopewell Township (Cumberland) .067
  14. Deerfield Township (Cumberland) .062  
  15. New Horizons Community Charter School .062 
  16. Highland Park (Middlesex) .061  
  17. University Heights Charter School .059 
  18. Neptune City (Monmouth) .057
  19. Egg Harbor City  (Atlantic) .055
  20. Mercer City Vocational (Mercer) .054   
  21. Liberty Academy Charter School .054 
  22. University Academy Charter School .054  
  23. Great Oaks Charter School .053 
  24. Pine Hill Boro (Camden) .053  
  25. Village Charter School .053 
  26. Academy Charter HS .052 
  27. Cumberland County Vocational (Cumberland) .051
  28. Monmouth Regional (Monmouth) .050
  29. Wildwood City (Cape May) .047
  30. Deal Boro (Monmouth) .047 
  31. Lakewood Twp (Ocean) .046  
  32. Kingdom CS of Leadership .046 
  33. DUE Season Charter School .046 
  34. Waterford Township (Cape May) .045
  35. Burlington County Vocational (Burlington) .045
  36. Mahwah Township (Bergen)  .044
  37. Butler Boro (Morris) .043  
  38. Newark Educators Charter School .043 
  39. Burlington City (Burlington) .042
  40. Ringwood Boro (Passiac) .042
  41. Rockaway Boro (Morris) .042
  42. Cumerbland Regional (Cumberland) .042
  43. Franklin Twp (Warren) .041
  44. Belmar (Monmouth) .040
  45. Keansburg (Monmouth) .040
  46. High Point Regional (Sussex) .040
  47. Mount Holly Township (Burlington) .040
  48. Blackhorse Pike regional (Camden) .040
  49. Camden City Vocational (Camden) .040
  50. South Bound Brook (Somerset) .040
  51. Hoboken City (Hudson) .040
Now, those are credible poll results because they factor in all reported incidents in all districts in New Jersey. 

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

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...)


  1. Yep, that's got to be exactly what this is--pure politics. Well, and maybe a plea for attention.

    1. PATHETIC. Kids read Patch. How depressing and demoralizing for them to read such lies about their school district. Adults can process such nonsense. For kids, it sets up a 'less than equal' dichotomy between public and charters that simply isn't true.

      These political hyenas don't care the damage they do to the psyche of our kids. Like One Hoboken's attacks via Facebook and YouTube on Ravi Bhalla. You know who saw that? KIDS. Ravi's kids.

      These are mean, nasty people we are dealing with.

  2. The "violence" report is based on self reporting. Interesting how Hola has had ZERO incidences.

    Zero- not one disagreement on the playground not one "she pushed me"Ziippo.

    Also noticed that Hola as 0.06% special needs population.

    I still don't understand how a school that only has 18 out of 44 kids in the 5th grade can ask for an expansion to 8th. They can't even fill the 5th grade! Every school has a drop off rate in 5th grade, it doesnt miraculously goes up, it stays flat. SO where are the additional kids going to come from? JC?

    So how does that show there is a need for Hoboken?
    LIttle like vision $$$$$$, no?

  3. what is up with this?
    "A few caveats: We only included districts with more than 500 students that also have a high school. We also omitted charter schools and special services districts. And remember, this data is self-reported by the districts, and does not differentiate based on the severity of the incident. Oh, and why nine? We placed the cutoff for inclusion at a ratio of .020."

    That's an awful lot of caveats.

    I am going to do a study on public schools, no on district schools, no on district schools with HS, no on district schools with high schools who have a population of over 500, no on district schools with high schools who have a population of 500 who fall above .20. There! that should give me the info I need to point to.
    Phew! That was easy.

  4. So who fed this to PATCH is the question. This NJDOE report just came out.

  5. hmmmmm...Garcia sits on the board of education, Garcia's child goes to Hola.
    who want's to place odds on this eventually showing up on Petrosino's website and Branco and Murray's facebook pages?

    1. Murray posted it yesterday.

      He also 'forgot' to congratulate the Redwings.

  6. The elections are over. AMAP, let's set aside politics and have a real TEAM EFFORT to improve our entire school system with a special emphasis to target our high school to improve their grade. Let's get together with the Board, the Supt., Principals, Staff with input from the Parents and kids as well.

    1. Exactly.

      So why this crap poll to denigrate Hoboken Schools and our kids with it?

    2. Becasue it really is all about the $$$. Like chicken little running aound. How else can you get people to agree to be taxed at an ever increasing level (with NO representation on the charter boards) to fund more and more charters? How else can the public school continue to improve if it is constantly drained of resources, including the top students.

      It's an intereting concept. A team meeting? Why? To get an inventory of what is left to take?

    3. AOL didn't do this statewide story as some sort of conspiracy against Hoboken schools. They admitted to using a more narrow data range, partly due to the fact if you have a small school where three kids got into a spitball fight and it was reported, that puts them atop the list statewide.

      Patch has done several of these statewide stories, one being highest taxes so this is certainly not part of a conspiracy.

      It won't impact Cerf on expanding HoLa's grades. That will likely happen anyway since most parents won't want to see their kids having to change schools so that will be likely seen as reasonable. There will be some costs to that so a tax adjustment will be incurred.

      These Patch stories are regional in focus designed to get interests from a wider area. Shoot, Hoboken Patch doesn't even have a reporter here anymore. The editor probably covers multiple areas and hasn't been seen in Hoboken for quite a while. Pumping out releases is about what they do here now and that's it.

    4. No excuses. In the age of mass school shootings it is the height of irresponsibility to label a district "most violent". It was the talk of Hoboken High today, I heard from a friend' son. And a kid in my daughter's 6th Grade class at Wallace was saying his dad was going to leave the district next year because of the district was "9th most violent.".

      Sorry, we aren't talking about a controversy over the prize pig at the County Fair. We're talking about people's kids and feeling safe sending them to school. Calling Hoboken a "violent" district is outrageous.

      To your point about "spitball fights" in small districts. Perhaps HHS had 20 "spitball fights", but they don't get a pass and end up #9 "most violent". It is absolute bullshit and our KIDS are upset.

    5. Complete and total bullshit! No excuses! ok, so no "conspiracy, that just leaves leaves total lazy asshole or complete, irrisponsible jerkoff!

      I still dont understand the leaving off the charter thing, unlesss he thinks all public schools are dangersous anyway and all charters are wonderlands. He must have read that on Patch.

      This is not some light fluffy bullshit this is people's kids, jobs, communities. It impacts the moral of the teaching staff and sticks in the minds of the parents.

      What a dickwad! And a complete douchbag for being so rude and defensive instead of trying to see someone eslse point of view.


    6. ahhhh yes....politic. I can see it now. They have been riding that tired old "WSJ study" for two years now. Another irrisponsible, lazy "journalist" who hit send without thinking how their self importan snarky writing will impact real people.

    7. Exactly right, Anon @ 10:30 PM. This needs a loud- if not legal response from the Hoboken School District.

  7. The elections may be over, but memories are short. As a blog of local info that must survive on advertisers, how does it help Patch to denigrate Hoboken in this way? It wasn't that long ago when Hoboken high was graduating many students who couldn't read and write in any language. A special-ed teacher, Frank Andreula, purportedly had many kids labeled as "special needs" to attract state dollars, never mind that these kids were stigmatized and couldn't go on to even a community college. This is the same guy who was appointed by his fellow teacher, Mayor Russo, to serve on the ABC board where he was arrested and served time for shaking down bar owners for bribes. During those years, low-performing students were taken on "class trips" or encouraged to stay home on the standardized testing dates to skew the results. Trumped-up reports of violence are nothing compared to the real destruction of students' lives by corrupt individuals who always saw our school system as a major stop on the gravy train and patronage mill for jobs.

    1. Too many coincidences. Who in Hola has the will, desire and connections to feed patch such a convoluded article?

      Board members Frank Raia or Anthony Petrocino? Hola parents Carmelo Garcia, Ruben Ramos, Joe Branco, Barbara Martinez? Can I show you the door Realtor and town curmudgeon Brian Murry?

    2. Whoever it is its some well-timed garbage. Hola's got their 6th grade. Let the kids go to middle school and mix with a diverse population that resembles the actual school-age Hoboken demographic. If the snot-nosed Yups think their kids are too good for our middle school then they can GO.

  8. The only real hope of the Old Guard to get another cash/job producing scam is to get control of the BOE.

    1. Sorry to disagree. They have no hope of getting near the BOE for the next two years. Besides, too many eyes on the HBOE now anyway.

      Their last hope is actually getting hold of your tax money where no one is pay attention. In Hola. I can hear Frank licking his lips from here. Only $5mil but it's something. Here a job-there a contract. Anyone looking? Nope.

  9. Wow, Patch just said that there were 36 incidents of violent crimes in Hoboken schools last year. In a 9 month school year that equates to one per week, or should I say ONE PER WEEK?! You're gonna love it Ga.

    1. Screw you, Troll. Patch did not say violent "CRIMES". The NJDOE report is posted here-- I know, reading it is too much work for a doofus-luvin' tart. "Wow". Good riddance, Troll.

    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    4. Folks, the TROLL has been banned. Let's leave it at that.

  10. Thanks for the analysis. I read this and knew there was a lot of fine print missing.

  11. Look at the photos in the article - 7 out of the 9 districts, you can't determine the district at all. Except Hoboken - clear and front and center.. I can see "Burlington.County..." What? Florence Township's building is from 20,000 feet. WTF? This article was gift-wrapped for Patch.

  12. Hoboken Charter School should be on this list! Why isn't it?! Wasn't a student caught with a gun? Talk about violent HS's!

  13. What is the exact number of non-resident vs resident students at Hoboken Charter School. Anyone know the numbers? Does it need to be here?

  14. meant to say the Hoboken Charter "High" School..

  15. Since only residents are paid for by the Hoboken taxpayer (or in your version by the district) wouln't having fewer Hoboken students be a good thing? I've heard that literally the 1/2 of Hoboken high school is from out of district through the school choice program. It brings in money and uses up excess capacity but is a really easy issue to mislead people about. Bashing other schools does not help promote your own. It might be helpful to remember that.

    1. Anon @ 7:40 AM, the point of this post is not "bashing other schools"- it is that a local 'mainstream' news source has posted a misleading and inaccurate poll, arbitrarily including/excluding data to arrive at a conclusion which libels the Hoboken City district.

      Yes, libels. That is the point.

      If you want to understand the impact, talk to the KIDS- in the High School and Primary Schools.

  16. Really, "literally 12 of the Hoboken high school is from out of district". Really, where did you get that figure? Take it from the source it comes from . There's a lot of misinformation and false statements regarding the District Schools, unfortunately. A lot of people that "bash" the schools have an axe to grind.

  17. I honestly think it is just more high school level "journalism" on Patch...and behavior. The editor took to name calling GA for her criticism of his "reporting."

  18. Thanks for caring about Hoboken public school kids. Like you, we've been in the regular public schools all along, and even though we know how wonderful it is from experience, it's still hard to hear such negativity.


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