Sunday, January 6, 2008

The NYC Public Education System- Not A Class(Size) Act

The Department of Education has published a list of class sizes in New York City Public Schools, and the results are incredibly disappointing. Major classes (English, Math, Social Studies and Science) were the only ones included in much of the data, and it seems that some schools cheated by counting their large inclusion classes as separate classes of special and general education students. It has also been established that class size correlates with the size of the school, meaning that the biggest schools have average class sizes of more than 27 students, while the smallest schools have an average of about 21 students.

The hypocritical aspect of all this is that while the effect of large class size on students' learning abilities is frequently being downplayed by the DOE, the newer, smaller schools that are constantly being built seem to have progressively smaller class sizes. I don't think this is a coincidence, and I don't think that students who did not have the opportunity or the desire to attend one of these small schools should be punished by having their education trampled. Large classes take away students' chances to participate or make an impression on their teachers, as well as taking away teachers' abilities to know students well enough to be able to sense a problem and help them. I sincerely hope that the movement to push for lower class sizes continues to grow.


Dana O'Brien said...
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Dana O'Brien said...

I think all NYC public schoolm students are aware of this, but no matter how many times the DOE publishes data stating class sizes of under 25, it doesn't seem to ever come true. I've certainly never heard of a class of 21 in a public school, large or small. I wish the DOE would just face the facts and address the issue instead of fudging numbers and making it look like they're doing better than they are.