Monday, January 10, 2022

Please sign onto our letter to urge the US Dept of Education's Office of Civil Rights to collect class size data from districts

Update: Just learned that the comment period has been extended, so the dates below have been extended as well.

Many of the most vociferous organizations that focus on the need for more data collection in schools and districts such as test scores have been silent on the need for more accurate and timely class size data, even though this is a  key determinant of student success.  

Research shows that class size matters for all students, but especially for disadvantaged students, who too often are subjected to excessively large classes.  Yet currently, reliable, comprehensive, and timely data on class size is nearly impossible to obtain, especially data that is disaggregated by race, ethnicity and economic status.

Right now, the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights is collecting suggestions on what additional district and school data they should collect.   Please consider signing your organization onto this letter, also posted below, sponsored by Class Size Matters and Network for Public Education, urging them to collect specific data on class size.

Not only is this information important for the purposes of public awareness, research, and advocacy, but also requiring districts to collect and report on this data may aid officials in analyzing disparities across schools and help them improve and provide more equitable learning conditions.

If you’d like to sign your organization onto this letter, you can do so by filling in the form here, no later than Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022.

If you don't represent an organization but instead would like to send in comments as an individual, feel free to copy the letter below, and send in your own comments  by January 18 February 11 to the following webpage:


 To the Office of Civil Rights:

The educators, researchers and advocates listed below strongly urge the Office of Civil Rights to collect and publish accurate and accessible data on class size, a key driver of educational equity.  Students in smaller classes have improved outcomes in nearly every way that can be measured – including but not limited to better test scores and grades, fewer disciplinary referrals, and higher graduation rates, as rigorous research shows.  

Moreover, those students who receive the greatest benefit from smaller classes are those from disadvantaged groups, including low-income families, students of color, English language learners, and students with disabilities.  Yet currently, the availability of accurate and timely data on class size is sparse at best.  

Thus, districts should be required to report this data in the following manner:

  • The average sizes of actual general education,  inclusion and self-contained special education class sizes reported by grade and disaggregated by category, rather than pupil-teacher ratios.


  • The distribution of class sizes by category and grade, including the 25th percentile; the median class size; and the 75th percentile, to be able to analyze disparities across the district.

  • Finally, the data above disaggregated by the following subgroups: race/ethnicity,
    gender, free-lunch, disability, and English Learner status.

Only if such data are reported in this fashion can we begin to analyze whether school districts throughout have provided this critical educational resource in an equitable manner. 

Yours sincerely,

(list in formation)

Leonie Haimson

Class Size Matters

Carol Burris & Diane Ravitch

Network for Public Education

Gene V Glass

Arizona State University

Sandra R. Glass

Arizona State University

Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig

Kentucky NAACP

Daniel Alicea

Educators of NYC

Susan Spicka

Education Voters of PA

Dan Drmacich

Rochester Coalition for Public Education

Yevonne Brannon, PhD

Public Schools First NC

Rosie Grant

Paterson Education Fund

Jarod McGuffey

Trusted Voices

Danielle Farrie

Education Law Center

Cassie Creswell

Illinois Families for Public Schools

Kathleen Jeskey

Oregon Save Our Schools

Naila Rosario


New Rochelle Federation of United School Employees

NY State United Teachers*

Sheila Zukowsky

Retiree Advocate Caucus of the United Federation of Teachers*

Mar Fitzgerald

FREE: Families for Real Equity in Education

Terrance Johnson

Community Education Council 16*

Stefanie Siegel

Bailey's Cafe

Maria Hantzopoulos

Vassar College*

Isha Taylor

CEC D10 President, Individual Council Member

Lisa Rudley

NY State Allies for Public Education  

Uniting to Save Our Schools


Dr. Jesse P. Turner

Connecticut Badass Teachers

Jeanette Deutermann

Long Island Opt Out

Ann Cook

New York Performance Standards Consortium

Terri Michal

Support Our Students Alabama

Becca Ritchie

Washington BATs admin team

Khoua Vang

ECASD-Locust Lane

Cecily Harsch-Kinnane

Public Education Matters Georgia

Maxine Rappaport

Brooklyn Reading Council

Joann Mickens

Parents for Public Schools, Inc.

Jeanne Melvin


Rebecca Garelli

Arizona Educators United *

Sara Johnson-Ward

Virginia Public Education Partners

Wendy K Marencik

Indiana Coalition for Public Education

Kelley Marlin

Virginia Public Education Partners

Bradley Levinson

Indiana University

Peg Smith and Alice Hawkins

Indiana Coalition for Public Education*

The PS 3 PAC

The PS 3 Charrette School Parent Action Committee

(asterisk means affiliation for informational purposes only)


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