After the DOE released their annual class size reports on November 15, we analyzed the average class sizes at the 94 Renewal schools this year compared to last year. We found that 36 out of 94 schools (about 38 percent) did NOT reduce average class size this year. The highest rates of non-compliance were in Queens, where 50 percent of Renewal schools failed to reduce class size, and in the Bronx, where 40 percent of schools failed to reduce class size.We further found that 56 schools (about 60 percent) had at least some classes at 30 or more, and only seven schools (about 7 percent) capped class sizes at the C4E goals of 20 students per class in grades K-3, 23 per class in grades 4-8, and 25 in core high school classes.
In June 2003, in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity case, the state’s highest court wrote that “[T]ens of thousands of students are placed in overcrowded classrooms … and provided with inadequate facilities and equipment. The number of children in these straits is large enough to represent a systemic failure.”  The Court of Appeals said that our students were deprived of their constitutional right to a sound basic education because their class sizes were too large, and yet class sizes have not decreased significantly since then.
In fact, class sizes in grades K-3 have significantly increased since 2003 – and are more than 14 percent larger than when that decision was written. This year there are over 48,000 K-3 students in classes of 30 or more, and more than 351,776 students in classes that large overall – more than one third of all NYC public school students in general education, inclusion and gifted classes.
/2016C4EBoroughPresentation071515FINAL.pdf and DOE Contracts for Excellence Proposed FY 2016 Plan (CEC presentation), July 2015, slide 14 at: http://schools.nyc.gov/NR/rdonlyres/26881653-C4C8-4ACC-AD13-537D6B93B486/187463/2016C4ECECPresentation.pptx