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February 13, 2019
UFT targets overcrowded classes in its first major complaint under New York City’s new teacher contract
The dispute centers on five high schools that have had chronically overcrowded classrooms for at least four of the past six years.
November 5, 2018
Colorado teachers want smaller class sizes, union survey finds
Some studies have found a strong relationship between smaller class sizes and better student performance.
June 6, 2018
Can lowering class size help integrate schools? Maybe, according to new research
A recent study suggests a concrete way that schools can attract and keep white families, while also boosting student achievement: lower class sizes.
July 6, 2016
New report: City classrooms are increasingly overcrowded, especially for the youngest students
Over 800,000 students are enrolled in schools where the average class size exceeds limits set by the city itself in 2007.
Counting Class Size
October 19, 2015
Nearly 1,000 fewer classes are overcrowded this year, according to union survey
An annual union survey found that 5,485 classes were overcrowded at the start of the school year, down from 6,447 last year.
oligarchs and overcrowding
December 9, 2014
To reduce class sizes, UFT looks to absentee landlords
The head of the city’s teachers union is asking state lawmakers to eliminate a set of property tax breaks to pay for reduced class sizes in elementary schools. United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said Tuesday that 90,000 condominiums and co-ops owned by people who do not reside in the city should no longer qualify for tax breaks.
Counting Class Size
September 30, 2014
Quietly, UFT reports that classroom overcrowding is getting worse
In a shift indicative of the new working relationship between city government and the teachers union, the number of overcrowded classes was noted only in an article in the union’s internal newspaper, New York Teacher. And rather than report overcrowded classes at their peak, the story says 3,500 classes exceeded limits — a number from after the city had already begun to reduce overcrowding.
June 27, 2014
Released earlier than usual, Blue Book now counts students in trailers
The city Department of Education released its annual school-space tally on Friday, months earlier than usual and featuring some changes recommended by an advisory…
June 6, 2014
Report: City’s budget plan doesn’t do enough to end school overcrowding
The city’s budget plan will not solve the problem of school overcrowding, a new report argues, despite the mayor’s pledge to devote new resources toward…
May 9, 2013
Not the biggest news out of Cleveland this week
The Cleveland Teachers Union has tentatively okayed a contract deal with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District that includes performance pay and an end to classes…
December 14, 2012
Latest data from city show a continued increase in class sizes
Across the city, classes this year are larger, on average, than they were last year, according to data the Department of Education released today. The new data, released this afternoon to meet an annual reporting deadline set by the City Council, show that class sizes have increased citywide for the sixth year in a row, with the largest increases coming in high schools. Overall, class sizes jumped by an average of 1.6 percent this year. Classes in elementary schools now average 24.5 students; middle schools average 27.3 students per class; and high schools have 26.9 students on average in each class. In September, a tally by the teachers union found that 670 schools — more than ever — had classes over their contractual size limits, which are higher than the citywide class size averages.
September 25, 2012
UFT: City's special education reforms causing class size crunch
UFT President Michael Mulgrew, flanked by NYC Museum School teachers and Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters, discussed this year's tally of oversized classes during a press conference this morning. One in four city schools have overcrowded classes, and the number of oversized special education classes more than doubled since last year, according to this year's class size tally by the United Federation of Teachers. Union members reported 270 special education classes with more than the mandated number of students in the early weeks of the year, up from 118 last year. During a press conference outside a Chelsea school building, UFT President Michael Mulgrew said the city's special education reforms, which are meant to move more students with disabilities into general education classes, were "clearly and solidly behind" the too-large special education classes. "We've never seen numbers like this before," Mulgrew said about the oversized special education classes. "Principals are telling us they are being mandated to do things they cannot do, and this is going to be a big problem." The union's contract with the city sets class size limits in each grade. When classes exceed the limit, the union can file grievances against the city to get the classes reduced in size — a process that can take months, Mulgrew said. This year, the union identified 6,220 classes over their contractual limits in 670 schools during the first weeks of the year. While the number of oversized classes was actually down 11 percent from last year's recent high of 6,978, the number of schools with oversized classes grew slightly, and the union estimates that nearly a quarter of all city students are spending all or part of the day in overcrowded classes for the second straight year.
January 10, 2012
Class size jump poses new challenge for a successful school
Chancellor Dennis Walcott and P.S. 130 Principal Lily Woo look on as one kindergarten teacher and her student read from a class assignment. Even at an elementary school with high scores, experienced teachers, and years of A's on the city's progress reports, budget cuts are taking a toll. At Chinatown's P.S. 130, average class size has ballooned from between 25 and 28 students per classroom last year to 32, the maximum allowed. Because the school lost about $1 million from its budget in the last two years, it had to cut teaching positions and reading teachers, according to longtime Principal Lily Woo. As Chancellor Dennis Walcott looked on today, second-grade teacher Danielle Cannistraci gathered her 31 students on the rug around the front of the classroom in a circle two rows deep for a lesson about shapes. When she asked the students to name a three-dimensional shape with no round edges, half a dozen hands shot in the air with the answer (in this case, a pyramid). Cannistraci, who has worked at P.S. 130 for 11 years, said the lesson exemplified her efforts to make her teaching more engaging. But with 31 students this year, up from 27, she said she is struggling to give each student individual attention and manage the time students spend doing group work. "I've always put them in groups, but now I have a whole extra group — it's become much harder," she said. "Normally I have five groups for reading, writing, and math. But if I have six guided-reading groups I can't focus on one in each day anymore because that means one group isn't going to be seen at all."
December 2, 2011
Bloomberg's class size comments more strident but in character
If Mayor Bloomberg had his druthers, he would fire half the city's teachers and pay the remaining half more to supervise twice-as-large classes. That's what he said during a wide-ranging speech at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Tuesday in which he argued that weak training, social change, and the teachers union have conspired to fill New York City's schools with less-than-ideal teachers. "If I had the ability, which nobody does really, to just design the system and say, ex cathedra, this is what we're going to do, you would cut the number of teachers in half, but you would double the compensation of them, and you would weed out all the bad ones and just have good teachers, and double class size with a better teacher is a good deal for the students," Bloomberg said. Listen to the portion of the speech where Bloomberg talks schools (starting at about 5:00): 11-29-11 MIT Speech - Part 2 The comments have drawn fire from UFT President Michael Mulgrew, elected officials, and many others. But while they were provocative and unusually specific, the speech tread familiar territory for the mayor.
November 15, 2011
DOE's newest class size data confirms increases across city
Chart showing trends in K-3 class size. From Class Size Matters PowerPoint presentation. (Click to enlarge.) Preliminary class size data that the city released today confirms what the teachers union has tallied: Class sizes are on the rise. Classes grew most this year in kindergarten through third grade, where the average size increased by just under one student since last year to 23.1. On average, classes in those grades are now three students larger than they were in the 2006-2007 school year. They are largest in Queens and Staten Island and smallest in Manhattan. Classes in those grades are now the largest they have been since 1998, according to a PowerPoint presentation prepared by parent activist Leonie Haimson for Class Size Matters, a group that she runs to advocate for smaller classes. Class sizes have also inched up in upper elementary, middle, and high school grades, but not by as much, according to the city's new numbers. In all grades, average class sizes exceed the goals set forth in the 2007 Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit settlement, which required the state to earmark extra funds for New York City schools to use for six different purposes, including reducing class size.
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