Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Renewal schools with largest class sizes are those that are struggling still

About a year and half ago I FOILed  the NYC Department of Education for the funding and policies they ostensibly used to reduce class size in the Renewal schools, as the last two years they have promised the state to focus their class size reduction efforts on these schools as part of their obligations under the Contract for Excellence law.

A few weeks ago, I received no information on any special funding or policies that were used to reduce class size in the Renewal schools, but I did receive a spreadsheet showing the changes in their class size averages from 2014-2016.
This DOE data shows that 38% of Renewal schools did NOT reduce average class size between 2014 and 2016 and 69% continued to have maximum class sizes of 30 or more.
The two Renewal schools with the highest average class sizes last year were Flushing HS at 28.7 and DeWitt Clinton at 27.4, and both also increased class sizes last year.  These are the two Renewal schools that according to the DOE have made the least progress and so they are demanding that all  teachers at these schools  re-apply for their jobs for next year.
Flushing had maximum class sizes in many subjects of over 30 , with many classes that violated the UFT contract of 34, including as high as 43 students per class in Global History. DeWitt Clinton also had many classes over 30 — as high as 39 in math.
Meanwhile several of the schools listed as making great gains in this NYT article, including  PS 15 and PS 328, had quite small class sizes and had also reduced class size over the last two years.  - PS 15 had reduced average class size to 17.3 students per class, and PS 328 to 16.8 students per class.

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