Friday, December 30, 2005

What Do Parents Want?

Well, if you believe the NY Sun, the thing they want most is smaller classes. Other important requests were quality teachers and less overcrowding. Few in the survey, only 2% in fact, accepted Mayor Bloomberg’s agenda as most desirable.

Thanks to Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters . Ms. Haimson wrote the Sun about this, and most of her letter appears below:

Re “Study: Parents want small class sizes” (December 29):

It is no surprise that New York City parents see class size reduction as their top priority; for more than a generation, our children have suffered by being crammed into the largest classes in the state and some of the largest in the nation. The Court of Appeals ruled that class sizes were too large in city schools to provide our students with their constitutional right to an adequate education.

Though class sizes have fallen slightly in the early grades due to enrollment decline, last year 75% of city districts still reported average class sizes of more than twenty children per class in K-3. Moreover, average class sizes in the middle grades have not improved significantly in the past six years and remain at 28 and above; in most of our large high schools, classes still contain 30 students or more. These huge classes result directly in our abysmal 8th grade test scores and unconscionably high dropout rates. Compare this to the rest of the state, where classes average 20-22 students in these grades.

The biggest outrage is that this administration has no plan to improve class sizes in the middle and upper grades, no matter how much money our schools receive as a result of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity case. And despite the fact that over 100,000 New Yorkers signed petitions this spring to place a proposition on the ballot that would require smaller class sizes in all grades by using a portion of these funds, the Bloomberg administration is attempting to block this question from ever appearing on the ballot, having decided that voters should have no say on this critical issue.

If you wish to write a letter to the Sun about this issue, click here and knock yourself out. However, if you are indeed knocked out, we at NYC Educator are regretfully unable to help you with ensuing medical expenses. We must, therefore, advise all due caution.
blog comments powered by Disqus