Thursday, February 19, 2009
Under Klein & Bloomberg Class Sizes Continue To Increase
It is one of the most important items when it comes to getting a quality education, that is class size. It is well documented that small class sizes result in improved academic achievement. However, in the seven years of the Bloomberg administration class sizes have not been reduced significantly despite money from the CFE lawsuit. This year class sizes have actually increased and New York City suffers from the largest class sizes in the State.Furthermore, under Klein & Bloomberg do not look for class size relief anytime soon. Despite parents, teachers, and education experts who have linked smaller class sizes to academic improvements the Bloomberg administration rather spend their money on suspect data collection programs and a one-size-fits-all classroom instruction project without teacher input. Further, under Klein & Bloomberg there is an increasing reliance on non-educators and in particular lawyers to implement the many dubious programs that has increased paperwork threefold and worsened the classroom environment. In the New York Times article the DOE put the blame on Principals for the increase in class sizes. If that is the case then why haven't Tweed removed those Principals that allowed for an increase in class sizes? The reason is quite simple the "Fair Student Funding" formula and DOE imposed budget restrictions on the schools limited the options many Principals have. Moreover, the Principal's own poor choices exasperated the situation such as spending precious funds on unnecessary Professional Development programs, hiring of "F" status administrators, and hosting costly functions that drain the school's budget. Where is the accountability to the parents, students, and teachers on what is best for the children? The real story is that the Principals are only accountable to Tweed and few Principals are reprimanded when they piss off the school population as long as they are in the good graces of the DOE. The UFT press release discusses the class size issue further.
Instead of reducing class size Klein & Bloomberg have found a way to waste $140 million a year in CFE funds and increase class size and with the proposed budget things can only get worse."Children Last" continues.