August 5 at 6:30 PM at Isaac Newton Middle School for Math & Science, 260 Pleasant Avenue, New York, NY 10029, 2nd floor auditorium. You can send in your comment via email as well to ContractsForExcellence@schools.nyc.gov.
Below are comments sent in by Amanda Vender, Queens parent and ENL teacher, who points out from her professional experience how putting extra teachers in the classroom does not provide the same benefits as a smaller class size. While the DOE's proposed plan allocates nearly $100 million to put extra teachers in a classroom for inclusion and NEST classes, not a single penny is targeted specifically towards class size reduction.
Whom It May Concern:
am a public school ENL teacher and public school parent in Queens. I am
concerned that our class sizes in NYC are 15-30% larger than classes in other
parts of the state. That’s why I’m so pleased to know that we now have $530
million additional aid from the State to lower class size, concurrent with the
CFE legal decision. I urge you to ensure these funds are used as they are
intended, to lower class size.
an ENL teacher who has taught both push-in and stand-alone classes, I can
confirm what the research shows: having a second teacher in a room is nowhere
near as good as a smaller class size. As you can imagine, only one teacher can
speak to the whole class at a time. During that time, the second teacher can’t
do much other than help direct students’ attention to the teacher speaking, or
wait around. It is not a good use of our professionals’ time. During group work
and independent work, both teachers can circulate in the room and offer support
or work with targeted groups, but students’ ability to focus in a classroom of
30 students is much less than compared to a classroom of 15 or 20 students.
teach high school students who are new immigrants and have interrupted formal
education. (SIFE) A portion of our ninth graders have not been in school for several
years. They have been out fishing or doing agricultural work full-time in their
home country. They are not used to sitting at a desk and engaging with print
text. While we have excellent curriculum resources provided by CUNY Grad Center
and the NYS DOE to quickly develop these students’ literacy skills in English,
we cannot achieve this without small class size.
own children attend IS145, across the street from where we’re meeting tonight.
I observe that class sizes there are always at the maximum, 30 students. 90% of
students there are Latinx, 90% are low-income and many students are English
Language Learners. The school is one of few middle schools in the area with a
dual-language bilingual program. How can children learn a second or third language
effectively in a class of 30 students, especially in a school that remains
intensely segregated like IS145, where so many students speak Spanish at home?
Students need exposure to English and opportunities to practice speaking that
cannot be achieved in a class of 30 students.
large body of research confirms my statements. I urge you to use the funds to
mandate smaller class size immediately.
Parent in District 30
ENL teacher in District 24