NYC parents, teachers and administrators please take our five-minute class size survey here. I'll explain why:
By law, the DOE is supposed to report on class sizes twice a year, the first time on Nov. 15 and then again on Feb. 15. We had heard from parents of egregiously large classes sizes this fall for many students engaged in remote learning of sixty students or even more, either full-time or part-time. See articles in NY Post, WSJ and Gothamist about this issue.
So we realized it would be important for the DOE to report on disaggregated class sizes, i.e. in-person, vs. full-time remote, vs. part-time remote for blended learning students. On Oct. 28, Council Member Mark Treyger, chair of the Education Committee sent a letter to DOE, urging them to make the legal deadline of Nov. 15 and provide the disaggregated data. His letter is here which a Chalkbeat article reported on.
At a press conference on Oct. 26, Chancellor Carranza said that schools had been reporting attendance to DOE in "literally three buckets of attendance every single day": in-person classes, remote blended learning classes, and full-time remote classes. So reporting the class size data in these three separate categories should not have been difficult for them to do.
Yet on November 16, Karin Goldmark of the DOE responded to CM Treyger's letter, to say they would delay the release of ANY of the class size data until Dec. 31, and any disaggregated data until Feb. 15. Subsequently, they told the Council they would further delay the release of any class size data till the beginning or middle of January.
In late February, more than three months after the legal deadline, the DOE finally posted on the Infohub site links to another Open Data site that alleges to report on class size data as of Nov. 13, 2020, with aggregate average data that appears to be inaccurate. Based on our analysis of the initial data, we calculated the following averages for each grade level, which if true would show DOE achieved the far smaller class sizes called for in their 2007 Contracts for Excellence plan:
|K–8 Special Classes||6.46|
Charts of the reported trend of average class sizes over time are here: Even factoring in the reported drops in enrollment, based on analysis of past data as well as speaking with teachers, parents, and students, we believe these figures are likely far lower than the reality. The DOE now says they will further delay any disaggregated data until sometime in March, which may be further delayed, given their past record, and may not be more accurate .
So that's why in the meantime, we are asking NYC parents, teachers and administrators to respond to our five-minute class size survey here.