HOBOKEN – Hoboken Schools Superintendent Mark Toback responded on Thursday afternoon to an article on the Wall Street Journal blog about the Hoboken school district (see related news item below at hudsonreporter.com).
Toback said that the article referred to the 2010 census, and the school district has improved since then.
“The whole article has to do with the 2010 census, which has to do with things happened from 2000 to 2010, and certainly Hoboken was a very troubled school district during that time period,” he said. “But I’m sure it still was still not what they described as the least desirable school district.” He also noted that other districts mentioned on the “least desirable” list are actually good districts. The list was apparently compiled largely based on data about parents moving away when their kids reach school-age.
Toback, who is relatively new to the district, said that parents leave Hoboken for other reasons besides the schools, including the small supply of three-bedroom houses and the high cost of such a house.
Toback said the district is addressing many of the problems of the past, including test scores at the high school, which he said have improved. He said the high school is a “work in progress.”
He noted a spike in kids entering kindergarten in the district this year. He said 267 children are enrolled in kindergarten, up from 160 at the end of last year.
“I think part of it is that families are staying in Hoboken,” he said. “It’s hard to really say. That’s a very individual choice, but residents have an awful lot of choices for education.”
Regarding another news item posted at hudsonreporter.com this week – about a delayed contract for the Catapult company to manage several pre-K classes -- Toback said no contract has been signed yet. He said the district is trying to work with Catapult on various issues.
When asked if those pre-K students will still be starting school next Thursday, Toback said, “That’s the plan.” But he could not say when the contract would be signed for sure. Keep watching hudsonreporter.com for updates.