"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Bloomberg: The Big Mayor Who Couldn't

He can dump school board members and replace them with ones who will allow him free rein to rule the schools. He can hire experts to plan for the privatization of NYC schools. He can institute high stakes testing policies in elementary grades that are more racist than Louisiana's.

But when it comes to responsibility for class size, that issue is out of the Mayor's hands. Imagine that.

From the Times:

Lawyers for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg told an appeals court yesterday that the mayor did not have the authority to force the school system to reduce class sizes.

The claim came during a hearing in a case in which parents and teachers are trying to put a referendum on the ballot to force the mayor to hire more teachers and reduce the class sizes in city schools. They argue that smaller classes, in line with those in much of the rest of the state, are the best way to improve education for city students.

Kindergarten classes averaged 21.8 students in the city, but 19.1 in the rest of the state in 2004-5, the latest data available from the state. In Grade 4, classes averaged 24.9 in the city, but 21 in the rest of the state, and in Grades 6 to 8, they averaged 27 to 29 in the city, but 21 to 22 outside the city. . .

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