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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Class size averages drop slightly this fall in grades K-3 and 4th-8th, but grow in high school; would take 24-38 years to reach C4E goals

For immediate release: November 18, 2014

For more information contact:
Leonie Haimson, 917-435-9329,  
Josey Bartlett, (718) 803-6373 x 202,

Class size averages drop slightly this fall in grades K-3 and 4th-8th, but grow in HS
At least 367,794 students remain in classes of 30 or more

Late Friday, the DOE released class size averages by school, district, borough and citywide.  The data is posted here:

The good news is that for the first time since 2008, average class sizes decreased over the grade spans of K-3rd  and 4th-8th   grades. 

The bad news is that at this gradual rate of decline, it would take 24 years in grades K-3 and 38 years in 4th-8th grades to reach the Contracts for Excellence goals the city promised the state  to achieve over five years. 
In addition, 30,444 Kindergarten students --43%  -- are in classes of 25 or more ( 25 is the union contractual limit in that grade).
Average class sizes fell to 24.7 in grades K-3, 26.7 in grades 4th-8th, but increased slightly in high school this year to 26.8.

Yet these class size averages  of 25- 27 are deceptive, as hundreds of thousands of  students remain crammed into classes of 30 or more.   

In fact,  there are more students in classes of 30 or more this year (a minimum of 367,794 students, compared to 347,418 last year at this time.)

“The preliminary class size data shows that too many New York City students remain in overly large classes,” said City Council Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm. “Many classes contain 30 or more students, which makes teaching extremely difficult, particularly given the higher expectations required under the Common Core.  The Department of Education must make class size reduction a high priority in order to give city students a quality education.  Our kids deserve better.”

Said Leonie Haimson, Executive Director of Class Size Matters, “When he ran for mayor, Bill de Blasio promised to comply with the City’s original class size reduction plan submitted in 2007 and if necessary, raise funds to do so.  Smaller classes have also been the top priority of parents on the DOE’s own parent surveys for 8 years in a row.  It is time that the Mayor followed through on his campaign promises, and focused on this all-important goal to improve the opportunities of NYC children. “

For class size averages and trends for each school district, or the schools with the largest class sizes by district, please email


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