Friday, March 1, 2013

The mayor's ignorant remarks today on class size

The mayor was at it again today, in his ill-considered and ignorant attack on class size.  On his radio show, he apparently said:
"I got in trouble every time I say this. But I would do anything to have better quality teachers, even if it meant bigger class size, even if it meant them standing rather than sitting. That's what really makes a difference. That human being that looks the student in the eye, adjusts the curriculum based on instinct what's in the child's interest."
What does that mean?  That kids can learn just as well when it’s so overcrowded they don’t have a seat?  What universe does the Mayor live in that he thinks this is acceptable?
Would he send his own children to a school where they had to stand in their classroom because it was too crowded?  No, his daughters went to Spence where the average class size is  16-18 students
What the Mayor is ignoring is that when a teacher has 25, 30 or more students he can’t possibly “look” each student in the eye and “adjust” the curriculum to fit that individual child’s needs, no matter how brilliant a teacher he may be. 
The whole point of smaller classes is to allow teachers to provide personalized support, to create an effective feedback loop so that they can respond to each child as individuals rather than data points. 
And there is NO trade-off between quality teaching and class size.  In fact, the two are complimentary.  Only with smaller classes can we reduce our huge teacher attrition rate, and ensure that all NYC kids have an effective, experienced teacher as well.
Now, it’s no surprise that Bloomberg might want to devalue the importance of class size, as class sizes have increased every year for the last five and are now the largest in 14 years in the early grades, despite the fact that smaller classes are the top priority of parents on the DOE’s own surveys every year they’ve been given. 
Class size reduction is also one of only a handful of reforms shown to lead to more learning through rigorous evidence, according to the Institute for Education Sciences.  The Mayor’s statement today disputing the importance of class size is consistent with his arrogant disregard for the views of parents and his refusal to listen to the findings of evidence-based research, a hallmark of his education policies.


Jenn F. said...

You know what helps these magical teachers look every student in the eye and adjust the curriculum accordingly? If there are less students.

Lynda Costagliola said...

The mayor is an arrogant, ignorant bully. He really doesn't get it!

I noticed that... said...

The mayor has never cared for the NYC children. His motto of "Children First" was used to mislead the public. He actually believes in seeing "Children Crowded", "Children Ignore" and finally "Children Neglected".

He is a selfish, self-serving, money-driven baffoon. The only thing he does not want to see crowded or packed into a small room is his ego.

Everyone will remember his infamous legacy as "the mayor who wanted to reign forever as the mayor4life and in the destruction of the public school system".

December 31, 2013 cannot come any faster.

Anonymous said...

Mayor Bloomturd is an elitist pompous fool. He detests teachers and wants to see the Teacher's Union obliterated. If it was up to him 50% of teachers should be fired due to "incompetence". Under his administration school principals have been empowered to act like Hitler's henchmen with the purpose of destroying the livelihoods of many well-qualified teachers. The more abusive they are the longer they stay in the system and this is something that the DOE is fully aware of and yet does nothing because they 100% support this madness.
The teachers who are most affected by this are experienced veteran teachers who get targeted ONLY because they make too high a salary and because the city does not want them to cash out on full pensions and unreduced benefits when they retire. It's disgusting to witness this happening and yet feel so helpless. I encourage for all teachers to speak out on this topic and make your voices heard on websites, blogs, talk shows, newspaper editorials, etc. Another way is for teachers to actively involved in Union issues. We have an election in April so lets vote Michael Mulgrew out as he's willing to sell us down the river. He and the rest of the Unity Caucus will NOT PROTECT teacher's rights. We need to vote for the MORE caucus if we want to see any significant changes made. Election ballots will be mailed out in early April so every teacher who wants their rights protected should do the right thing. We need the same type of Union Leadership that they have in Chicago, one that will not cave into the ridiculous demands of "teacher reform"

Anonymous said...

The mental stability of the mayor must begin to become a question New Yorkers wonder about. On this same program he stated that if people wish to loose weight, they should eat less.

Pissedoffteacher said...

I am a more effective teacher in a group of 20 than in a group of 34, we all are. Bloomberg is an idiot who has no idea as to what it means to teach.

Anonymous said...

Remember, Christine Quinn gave us this buffoon for another 4 years. Do not vote for Quinn in the coming election because she will no doubt continue the mayor's failed policies.

Joel said...

The mayor has done more harm to our school system then any mayor in the history of NYC. He has overwhelmed the teachers with test prep,paper work and many incompetent administrators from his ridiculous principal's academy.
His pipe dream about teacher evaluation putting a fantastic teacher in every classroom is absurd. The evaluation will just allow administrators to get rid of teachers,good or bad,that they don't like.
What is the average class size in his buddies charter school?
It is sad that the candidate for the next mayor is the biggest supporter of his absurd policies.

Sally R. Merlo said...

How is it that this Mayor squeaked in for a THIRD term? Further, why hasn't he been impeached

Nothing he has done to supposedly help the students of the city schools has been beneficial, and often worked to the detriment of furthering student education.

And, if the Mayor is expecting to draw in and keep middle class families in the city, one certainly couldn't see this in the policies he promotes for educating their children. Good public schools are a big factor here.

Totally agree with the other comments about Herr Bloomberg. This last term of his can't come soon enough. Go BACK to Boston, Mayor Mike, and don't let the door hit you too hard on the way out....