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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Welcome back to a new school year, & please fill out our 2 minute class size survey!

Welcome back to a new school year. I hope your child is settled in a good school, with a reasonable class size, but I fear for too many, this will not be the case. 

  • Here is our updated fact sheet on class size in NYC schools, including the union class size limits, the goals that DOE originally promised to achieve by this year, and what you can do if your child’s class size exceeds either of those levels.  Take a look.    
  • Most important:  parents, teachers and administrators: please fill out a 2 minute survey about the class sizes in your school.    It is critical that I have as much information as possible so I can help.  All information will remain fully confidential unless you signal otherwise

Already this year we have heard about classes of 60 in Brooklyn; about DOE pressing special needs kids into much larger classes than they need because of the new inclusion initiative.   The administration is also spending precious time and resources expanding online programs like the “School of One,” which despite its name features up to one hundred kids in one room, who spend most of their time on computers – with no evidence that this model actually help kids learn.  Meanwhile, a new private school plans to open in NYC with a class size of one.
In this city and nation, we are increasingly moving toward a two-tier system:  where the wealthy will send their kids to private schools with tiny classes and our public schools will feature huge classes where students will receive their instruction primarily online.  This will be euphemistically be labelled “personalized” learning, but without any actual people involved and no research to back it up.  

Please check out the class size of your kids by counting the class roster when you pick up your kids today. Or ask their teachers or principals. For middle and high school students, ask them to count the other students in the class.  Then fill out our 2 minute survey as soon as possible.  (The survey is designed primarily for NYC residents, but others elsewhere are also encouraged to respond.)
As always, feel free to email us at if you have any other concern or problem that you’d like to share.  -- Leonie Haimson

1 comment:

lgm said...

I sincerely doubt the future will be computers in the classroom. My childrens' experience with full inclusion in the elementary is that emotionally disturbed children will break everything over the course of the year as the rest of the class waits for the office to send someone up who can do restraint holds. The future is the past: packets of worksheets.