Number of Students in Classrooms of 30 or More Has Tripled, Says Lander Report

Classroom overcrowding is on the rise in the city, with fourth and fifth graders most likely to be in full classrooms.

The number of elementary school students in classes of 30 or more has tripled in the last three years because of budget cuts and lack of teachers, according to a new report released by Council Member Brad Lander, D-Park Slope, says the New York Times’ School Book blog.

Lander’s report found that 31,079 students in first through fifth grade were now in large classes, as opposed to only 9,756 in the 2008-9 school year, says the article, also finding that fourth graders and fifth graders are the most likely to be in large classes.

School Book says that, according to Lander’s report, about 14 percent of current fourth graders are in classes of 30 or more students, compared with 5.5 percent during the 2008-9 school year. The article add that, of fifth graders, about 17 percent were in large classes, compared with 6.5 percent three years ago. The class-size limit for both grades is 32 students, which is set by the city and the teachers’ union.

Lander’s 39th Council District, which includes Carroll Gardens and Park Slope, still fares better than the rest of the city when it comes to class sizes, says the blog.

In Staten Island, 20 percent of all elementary school students were in classes of at least 30 students, in Coney Island and Brighton Beach, 19 percent were in large classes, and in Queen’s District 24, which includes Corona, Maspeth, Middle Village and other neighborhoods, 18 percent were in oversized classes, says School Book.

Curiositykilledthecat March 31, 2012 at 02:10 PM
We certainly will be unable to engage in thoughtful discourse if we cannot agree on the basic facts of the situation. Charter schools are public schools that are publically-funded, chartered by a public entitity, and attended, for free, by public school students. From the NY State Education Department website: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/psc/about.html "Charter schools are publicly funded and open to all students in New York State through a non-discriminatory admissions lottery. Each charter school is governed by a not-for-profit board of trustees which may include educators, community members, and leaders from the private sector. Charters have freedom to establish their own policies, design their own educational program, and manage their human and financial resources. Charter schools are accountable, through the terms of a five-year performance contract, for high student achievement." I will be happy to engage more regarding the educational efficacy of charters, etc, but there is really no point if we aren't working from the same basic facts.
Bee March 31, 2012 at 03:32 PM
O.K. Curiosity, I concede that I was arguing about semantics in reference to your calling charters, public schools. While, as stated they are publicly funded, there are legal reasons that they are not called public schools. I have looked, read and listened to a plethora of arguments, studies and discussions from many perspectives. I am well aware that there are two sides to every story. After what I've learned about charters as a whole, I truly believe that they are more of a problem than a solution. I do not deny that are and have been many problems with public education in New York City, I think that Bloomberg's policies (including his penchant for charters, high-stakes test culture, neglect and assault on neighborhood public schools, punitive treatment of teachers to name a few) have worsened the existing problems. Again, I have looked at both sides of the story, and I do consider myself informed. I think there are too many unresolved issues pertaining to charters and that it is irresponsible to continue authorizing them until some of the biggest issues are resolved. I suspect that I will not change each others minds about this, but I do respect the fact that you attempted to engage in thoughtful discourse with me. Peace, Bridget
Curiositykilledthecat March 31, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Bridget, :) First, sending you peace also. I appreciate that our discussion hasn't devolved to name-calling. To further demonstrate that we will not change one another's minds on this point, I have to respond to your latest statement that "there are legal reasons that they are not called public schools." Untrue. There are policitcal and philosophical reasons that some folks will not call charter schools, public schools. But they are public schools, and here are a bunch of links to various groups that refer to charters by their rightful designation: http://www.nyccharterschools.org/ (top right corner: "It's about great public schools.") http://www.kipp.org/?gclid=CPnxv4nBka8CFcjb4Aodqy9_-Q (middle of the page, on the left) http://www.uncommonschools.org/ (middle of the page) http://www.dcpubliccharter.com/ (the very name of this association has public in it) The refusal of charter opponents to acknowledge that these are public schools that serve public school students kills the discussion before it can even start. Take care.
Parksloper April 01, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Public School unions and the DOE will not support Charter schools because they are not unionized. Simple. I say the more schools the better and educators should too. Public School Unions and the DOE have destroyed the school system and our children's education. For years they've hindered the firing of teachers, putting them in rubber rooms on the tax payers dollar. They've advanced students who needed to be kept back all in the name of making poor Johnny feel good. No red x's on your test paper, can't hurt his psyche. They've received billions in aid, just NY alone, and we're still way behind other countries in test scoring. Growing up there used to be neighborhood schools, where more parents got involved since the school was in their community. Today some young kids have to take a bus and a train to get to their school. Recently, the DOE in their infinite wisdom has come out with 50 forbidden words for standardized tests. Really. You think that is what is important for our children to compete in this world? Our kids are doomed. Send your child to Catholic, Private or Charter Schools, anything but public, for a sound education. War On Words: NYC Dept. Of Education Wants 50 ‘Forbidden’ Words Banned From Standardized Tests http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/03/26/war-on-words-nyc-dept-of-education-wants-50-forbidden-words-removed-from-standardized-tests/
Parksloper April 01, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Oh, and the fact that there is a school named after a fraud, Rachel Carson, speaks volumes: The Lies of Rachel Carson by Dr. J. Gordon Edwards Gordon Edwards, professor of entomology at San Jose State University in California, has taught biology and entomology there for 43 years. He is a long-time member of the Sierra Club and the Audubon Society and is a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences. http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/articles/summ02/Carson.html


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