Saturday, September 30, 2006

Children First

Here we are at the end of September, and the UFT reports there are 6,339 grievances over class size. The limit for high school is 34, the highest in the state.

I was listening when Sam Greenfield reported on 1600 AM that the DoE had managed to reduce class sizes. It's remarkable how many so-called reporters uncritically parrot whatever the government tells them to say nowadays. In my building alone, there are hundreds of oversized classes. I know teachers who had oversized classes all year last year, despite grievances.

Class Size Matters maintains otherwise:

See the reference to decreasing class sizes in the Mayor’s Management Report in the NY Sun story below; as members of this list serv realize, the city’s data on class size has been shown to be inaccurate in the past.

According to independent monitors such as the State education department and the Independent Budget Office, there has been little or no improvement in class size in the middle and upper grades over the last four years. In the early grades, class sizes have decreased only half as fast as enrollment. And even according to the MMR, average Kindergarten class sizes went up last year for the second time in three years – a very worrisome trend.

Those of us who actually work in schools don't need to read reports from the state to monitor class sizes.

Mike "Accountability" Bloomberg likes to talk about "Children First," particularly when it entails placing working people last. Unfortunately, kids hardly benefit from the systematic neglect he's been practicing since he came into office on a river of lies about improving education.
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