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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

73 Education professors urge the Chancellor and the Mayor to reduce class size

At the Community Education Council meeting on Sept. 22, 2014, Prof. Mark Lauterbach of Brooklyn College read a letter from 73 professors of education and psychology, urging Chancellor Farina to reduce class size as part of the city's Contract for Excellence plan.  The letter points out that early education does not end at the age of four, and that the benefits of many of the other DOE's initiatives  such as expanded preK and special education inclusion, will likely be undermined without smaller classes.  Then he responded to questions from CEC members, and discussed how class size reduction is the most effective way to improve learning, over professional development and other strategies.  The full letter with signers is below.


Education professors urge the Chancellor and the Mayor to reduce class size from Class Size Matters on Vimeo.

On the need for NYC schools to reduce class size; 
signed by 73 professors of education/psychology/child development
September 22, 2014
Cc: Mayor de Blasio
Dear Chancellor Fariña:

We, the undersigned, professors and researchers, urge you to put forward an aggressive but practicable plan to reduce class size in NYC public schools.  Last school year, class sizes were the largest in 15 years in grades K-3, and the largest since 2002 in grades 4-8.  More than 330,000 children were sitting in classes of 30 or more, according to DOE data.

As you know, robust research shows that class size matters for all students, but particularly students at-risk of low achievement, including children of color, those in poverty, English language learners, and students with special needs.  This is why class size reduction has been shown to be one of the few reforms to narrow the achievement gap.

Smaller classes have also been shown to increase student engagement, lower disciplinary referral and drop-out rates, and reduce teacher attrition.  No teacher, no matter how skilled or well prepared, can be as effective in the large classes that exist in many of our city’s public schools.

We believe that the benefits of many of the other positive reforms that the city is pursuing, such as increasing access to Universal prekindergarten, establishing community schools, and inclusion for students with disabilities, may be undermined unless the trend of growing class sizes is reversed and class sizes are lowered in the city’s public schools.

In particular, placing students with special needs into classes of 25, 30 or more will not work to serve their individual needs, no less the needs of the other students in the class.

New York City schools have the largest classes in the state and among the largest in the nation. We believe strongly that more equitable outcomes depend on more equity in opportunity. We commend you for your commitment to expanding prekindergarten programs, but as you know, early childhood education does not begin and end at age 4.

We urge you now to focus on lowering class sizes in all grades, which will improve teaching and learning in our public schools.

Yours sincerely,

Jacqueline D. Shannon, Chair, Dept. of Early Childhood and Art Education, Brooklyn College
Diane Ravitch, Research Professor of Education, New York University
Barbara Schwartz, Clinical Professor, Dept. of Teaching and Learning, NYU Steinhart
Sonia Murrow, Associate Professor, Brooklyn College
Mark Alter, Professor of Educational Psychology, Programs in Special Education, New York University
Xia Li, Assistant Professor, Undergraduate Deputy, Dept. of Early Childhood and Art Education, Brooklyn College
Barbara Rosenfeld, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Childhood, Bilingual, and Special Education, Brooklyn College
Sharon O’Connor-Petruso, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Childhood, Bilingual, and Special Education, Brooklyn College
Carol Korn-Burztyn, Ph.D.,  Professor, Dept. of School Psychology, Counseling, and Leadership, Brooklyn College & Ph.D. Program in Urban Education, Graduate Center, CUNY
Karen Zumwalt, Evenden Professor Emerita of Education, Department of Curriculum and Teaching, Teachers College, Columbia University
Beverly Falk, Ed.D., Professor/Director, Graduate Programs in Early Childhood Education, The School of Education, City University of NY
David Bloomfield, Professor of Educational Leadership, Law and Policy, Brooklyn College & CUNY Graduate Center
Jessica Siegel, Assistant Professor, Education, English and Journalism, Brooklyn College
Barbara Winslow, Professor, Secondary Education, Brooklyn College
Diana B. Turk, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director, Social Studies Education, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University
Peter Taubman, Professor Secondary Education, Department of Secondary Education, Brooklyn College
James E. Corter, Prof. of Statistics and Education, Dept. of Human Development, Teachers College, Columbia University
Jeanne Angus, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Childhood, Bilingual & Special Education Head, Graduate Program in Special Education Co-Director, Brooklyn College
David Forbes, Associate Professor, Brooklyn College
Fabienne Coucet, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Program Leader, Program in Childhood Education, Dept of Teaching & Learning, NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development
Laura Kates, Associate Professor, Deputy Director, Education Program, Kingsborough Community College, CUNY
Eliza Ada Dragowski, Ph.D., Faculty Graduate School Psychology, Counseling, and Leadership, School of Education, Brooklyn College
Nancy Cardwell, Assistant Professor, Graduate Program in Early Childhood Education, The School of Education, City College of NY, CUNY
Mark Lauterbach, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Early Childhood and Art Education, Brooklyn College
Robert Lubetsky, Ed.D., Associate Professor, Director, Educational Leadership Program, Dept. of Educational Leadership & Special Education, School of Education, City College of New York
Anna Stetsenko, Ph.D., Professor, Ph.D. Program in Developmental Psychology, The Graduate Center of The City University of New York
Katharine Pace Miles, Dept. of Early Childhood and Art Education, Brooklyn College
Daniel S. Katz, Ph.D., Director, Secondary/Secondary Special Education, Seton Hall University
Nancy Leggio, Education Program Faculty, Kingsborough Community College
Tovah Klein, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology, Director, Barnard Center for Toddler Development, Barnard College, Columbia University
Rosalie Friend, Adjunct Associate Professor, Educational Foundations, Hunter College
Gigliana Melzi, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Dept. of Applied Psychology, New York University
Daisy Edmondson Alter, Ph.D, Center for Advanced Study in Education, CUNY Graduate Center
Jacqueline Hollander, Substitute Instructor, Dept. of Early Childhood and Art Education, Brooklyn College
Dr. Johnny Lops, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
Marshall A. George, Ed.D,, Professor and Chair, Graduate School of Education, Fordham University
Helen Freidus, Ed.D., Bank Street College of Education
Barbara Barnes, Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Education, Brooklyn College
Hugh F Cline, Adjunct Professor of Sociology and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
Gil Schmerler, Director, Leadership for Educational Change, Bank Street College
Elsie Cardona-Berardinelli, Resource Specialist, Fordham University
Lulu Song, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Early Childhood and Art Education, Brooklyn College
Jennifer Astuto, Ph.D., Director of Human Development and Social Intervention, NYU Steinhardt
Rena Rice, Graduate School Faculty, Bank Street College of Education
Mary Mueller, Ed.D., Seton Hall University
Beth Ferholt, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Early Childhood and Art Education Department, Brooklyn College, CUNY
Juan Morales-Flores, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Early Childhood Education, Kingsborough Community College
Robin B. Smith, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Special Education, SUNY New Paltz/Educational Studies
Mary DeBey, Associate Professor, Dept. of Early Childhood and Art Education, Brooklyn College
Susan Riemer Sacks, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Director of Education Initiatives, Barnard College
Jeremy D. Finn, Ph.D., SUNY Distinguished Professor, Graduate School of Education, University of Buffalo-SUNY
Diane Howitt, Resource Specialist, NYS/NYC RB-ERN Fordham University, Graduate School of Education, Center for Educational Partnerships
Fran Blumberg, Associate Professor, Division of Psychological and Educational Services, Fordham University
Diana Caballero, Ed.D.,  Clinical Professor, Fordham University, Graduate School of Education, MST Programs in Early Childhood and Childhood Education
Gay Wilgus, Ph.D., Assistant Professor. Graduate Program in Early Childhood Education. The City College of New York
Joshua Aronson, Ph.D., Applied Psychology, New York University, Director of Center of Achievement Research and Evaluation
Florence Schneider, Associate Professor, Dept. of Behavioral Sciences & Human Services, Kingsborough Community College
Christina Taharally, Ed.D., Associate Professor & Coordinator, Early Childhood Masters Programs, School of Education, Hunter College, CUNY
Merle Keitel, Ph.D., Professor, Graduate School of Education, Fordham University
John Craven, Ph.D., Science Education, Fordham University
Patricia M. Cooper, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Program Coordinator of Early Childhood Education, Queens College, CUNY
Linda Louis, Associate Professor, Associate Professor, Dept. of Early Childhood and Art Education, Brooklyn College
Herman Jiesamfoek, Associate Professor, Associate Professor, Dept. of Early Childhood and Art Education, Brooklyn College
Edwin M. Lamboy, Associate Professor, Secondary Spanish Education Program Director, City College of New York, CUNY
Florence Rubinson, Professor of School Psychology, Dept. of School Psychology, Counseling, and Leadership, School of Education, Brooklyn College
Lisa S. Fleisher, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Educational Psychology, Programs in Special Education, Department of Teaching and Learning, New York University
Nataliya Kosovskaya, Graduate School of Education, Fordham University
Martin Simon, Professor of Mathematics Education, New York University
Maris H. Krasnow, Ed. D., Clinical Associate Professor of Early Childhood
and Early Childhood Special Education, New York University
Yoon-Joo Li, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Childhood, Bilingual, Special Education, Brooklyn College
Paul C. McCabe, Ph.D., NCSP , Professor & Program Coordinator, School Psychologist Program , Dept. of School Psychology, Counseling, and Leadership, Associate Editor, School Psychology Forum, Brooklyn College
Meral Kaya, Ph.D Assistant Professor,  School of Education, Dept. of Childhood, Bilingual, Special Education, Brooklyn College
Laurie Rubel, Ph.D., Association Professor, Dept. of Secondary Education, Brooklyn College
Geraldine Faria, Assistant Dean, School of Education, Brooklyn College

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Will this change anything? If the DOE would stop firing quality teachers for stupid stuff (like hair-styles worn to work, personal relationships, drinking buddies....stupid stuff) maybe the class sizes wouldn't be so large. It makes no sense. . Then bring in unqualified, fly by night people from who knows where to teach in some of the roughest schools/neighborhoods in the city and expect them to prevail. Where's the logic? Where's the sense in that? Oh yes, it's a cost saving measure....fire the experienced qualified teachers because they make more than base salary, then higher new unqualified little to no experience because they're cheaper. Then abuse them, they're not tenured. Then fire them, they have no rights. Hmm..sounds like a great big loss for the STUDENTS