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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

District 6 parents want and need smaller classes! Contract for Excellence testimony by Tory Frye



To submit your own comments on the city's Contract for Excellence/class size proposal, email ContractsForExcellence@schools.nyc.gov  by July 19.  If you'd like to share your comments on the blog on class size, please email us at info@classsizematters.org 

Testimony at Contracts for Excellence Hearing
June 18, 2014

by Tory Frye, District 5 and 6 parent and elected parent member, Community Education Council Six [CEC6]

My name is Tory Frye and I am the parent of public school students in Districts 5 and 6 and am an elected parent member of CEC6.  I am here this evening representing thousands of District Six parents; I’ll tell you why I think this is true in a moment.  

We know that the primary purpose of the C4E is to reduce class size and yet the DOE has chosen not to do this.  Our CEC6 President has spoken eloquently on why reducing class size is so crucial in our district, which has a significant proportion of current or former English Language Learners, as well as special needs students (and often students who are classified as both).  Educators, students and parents will testify to the difficulty of teaching and learning for these students in large class sizes.

Here are the facts about class size in D6:

-       In 2013-14 the average class size for K-3 was 24; according to the Campaign for Fiscal Equity settlement, which gave rise to the C4E contracts, we should be at 20.

-       We have the largest average class size in D6 since 2006.
-       6 D6 schools have K class averages of 25+
-       10 D6 schools have 1-3 class averages of 25+
-       5 D6 schools have at least one 1-3 class with 30+
-       14 D6 schools have at least one 4-8 class with 30+ 

-       PS 366 has a K class with 28 students
-       PS 153 has a 1st grade class with 32 students
-       PS 28 has a 2nd grade class with 31 students
-       PS 132, a struggling school, has a 3rd grade class with 29 students
-       The average D6 utilization rate is 94%

-       13 schools are over 100% utilization, including PS/IS 187, which is blocks away from the Mother Cabrini High School, which the DOE has handed over to Success Academy, a school that was never desired in our district, despite an overcrowded and high performing school mere blocks away.

-       Analysis* indicates that we need another 900 seats

-       D6 also has 19 “TCUs” (aka trailers) at 3 schools, not including the “mini buildings” at schools like PS 192/325, which, if eliminated, would mean we need another 681 seats.

-       So we have class sizes that exceed the CFE targets and the need for additional seats in our district just to reduce current, non C4E-compliant, overcrowding.

-       This is why we want the DOE to spend the entirety of the C4E dollars on class size reduction by hiring more teachers, adhering to the CFE class size targets, and creating more classrooms by aligning the Capital Plan to the CFE class size targets.

-       We reject the excuse that the state has not provided the money and ask that Mayor de Blasio use his influence to get the money we are owed in order to reduce class size and/or use the city funds to achieve these goals.

-       To return to why I think I speak for thousands of D6 parents?  Here is our analysis of the Learning Environment Surveys for D6:

·      Two-thirds (68%) of parents rank smaller class size as the #1 improvement that could be made at their schools

·      Twenty-one of 25 schools (84%) rank it as either the #1 or #2 improvement.

School
#1
#2
Smaller class size #1 (17/25 or 68%)
PS 5
Smaller class size
Hands on learning
PS 8
Smaller class size
More state test prep
PS 28
Smaller class size
More state test prep
PS 48
Smaller class size
More state test prep
PS 98
Smaller class size
More state test prep
PS 128
Smaller class size
Stronger enrichment
PS 132
Smaller class size
More state test prep
PS 152
Smaller class size
Stronger enrichment
PS 153
Smaller class size
Stronger enrichment
PS 178
Smaller class size
Stronger enrichment
PS/IS 187
Smaller class size
Stronger enrichment
PS 189
Smaller class size
Stronger enrichment
PS/IS 278
Smaller class size
More state test prep
PS 325
Smaller class size
More state test prep
PS 314 (Muscota New School)
Smaller class size
Less state test prep
PS 366 (Washington Heights Acad.)
Smaller class size
Stronger enrichment
PS 210 (Twenty-first Century)
Smaller class size
More state test prep
Smaller Class Size #2 (4/25 or 16%)
PS 115
More state test prep
Smaller class size
PS 4
More state test prep
Smaller class size
PS 18
More hand on learning/more test prep
Smaller class size
Amistad (PS/IS 311)
More state test prep
Smaller class size
Class size # or more (4/25 or 16%)
PS 368 (Hamilton Heights Acad.)
More state test prep
More effective leadership
PS 192
Stronger enrichment
Hands on learning
PS 173
Stronger enrichment
More state test prep
PS 513 (PS 513)
Stronger arts
Stronger enrichment

* D6 class size analysis via Class Size Matters

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