I haven’t seen the exact language yet, but this represents a great victory for our children -- and we owe the Chair of the Assembly Education Committee,
It will be up to Commissioner Mills to write the rules and what the class size goals should be, so this remains a work in progress.
Nevertheless, we can all be proud of the campaign we waged together to convince the Governor and our legislators to do the right thing for our kids – despite the fact that the Mayor, Chancellor and their minions were trying to block this every way they could. Indeed, the administration's lobbyists even told legislators that they already had plans to reduce class size so there was no need for a state mandate -- even though it is clear to us here in NYC that they have no such intention.
Now, we will all have to watch them like hawks -- to see that the plan they submit is realistic and will lead to significant progress -- and that they adhere to it. If past experience is any guide, they will try to dissimulate, manipulate, and evade their obligations to reduce class size in any way they can.
The Mayor and Chancellor should instead look to
Bush tried not once, but three times to overturn the amendment, and each time was foiled by the Florida State legislature, which while dominated by members of his own party, resisted his efforts because the class size amendment proved even more popular when it was put into place than when it originally passed, and turned out to be considerably less expensive to fund than expected. The last time Bush tried and failed to overturn the class size amendment, this was widely hailed as the most humiliating political defeat of his career.
Over the last three years, class sizes have been dramatically reduced in all grades, by about six students per class in Kindergarten through third grade, five students in fourth through eighth grades, and two students in ninth through 12th grades. For the 2006-07 school year, 94% of
Now Florida has a new Governor, also a Republican, Charlie Crist, who wholeheartedly supports the class size law, even as the state moves towards actual caps in all schools of no more than 18 students per class in grades K-3, no more than 22 in 4th -8th grade, and no more than 25 in high school.
Here is the latest statement from Gov. Crist on this issue: "the will of the people was to do what was passed, and I think we should respect it."
Listen to that Michael Bloomberg and Joel Klein, and beware!!!