The city budget’s scant amount for a “pilot” for class size reduction

July 8, 2021

Instead of the $250 million the City Council proposed should be invested in lowering class size, Mayor de Blasio would agree to only $18 million, for a “pilot” project in a few schools. This despite the fact that there will be a crying need for smaller classes next year, both for social distancing and academic support. In addition, class size reduction is a proven way to increase learning that doesn’t need piloting.

In a Chalkbeat article, I called the $18 million amount “piddling” compared to the $8 billion in additional state and federal school aid we are receiving. At an online event last week, Chancellor Porter said she wants “to continue the conversation; it starts with the pilot but doesn’t end there.” We will see what that means; in any case, we’re not giving up. More on this, including a video of what I said to the Chancellor last week at this event and her response is on the blog here.

2. It looks like Eric Adams will be our new mayor. He has said nothing about class size, except to twice propose that summer school classes could be given remotely to hundreds of students per class. When this caused an uproar shortly before the primary, he took it back. He has said he is committed to equity and improving opportunities for underserved students. That will be difficult to do without addressing their excessive class sizes.

3. Finally, our weekly WBAI/podcast “Talk out of School” is moving to Saturday at 1 PM, so that more teachers, parents and students can listen and hopefully call in. I am also now alternating as host with teacher Daniel Alicea, who last Saturday focused on critical race theory — which the right-wing has adopted as its latest bogeyman to attack our schools. You can take a listen to that show at the podcast site here. Please be sure to join us this Saturday when my guest will be Tom Loveless, who has written a new book on the Common Core, how it started, what its goals were, and why it failed.

thanks Leonie

Categories Newsletters, Updates | Tags: | Posted on July 21, 2021

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