Lowering class size is one of the most important things that could be done to NYC public schools today. The benefits of having a teacher who really knows you as a student are endless. First of all, i know from expericence that students are almost always more motivated to work for a teacher they respect. It's hard to respect a teacher who doesn't communicate with you or show interest in your success.
Also, when students become numbers on delaney cards, then teachers become strangers, and school becomes meaningless to a student. Having a teacher who will pull you aside if they notice a problem makes a huge difference. School is already based too much around numbers. The more faces and relationships, the more relevant school is going to feel for a student.
Now that schools are accountable for individual students progress in each subject area, its even more unfair to create large classes where they can't get to know their students. Teachers need to be able to push their students, and to do this they have to understand them. Smaller classes are better for students and principals who are now being graded on their student's preformance.
Thank you to the Department of Education and to Randi Weingarten. Small classes are the key to so many improvements in our schools.