Friday, September 18, 2009

Crowding Out the Truth?

We're getting a spate of reports about over crowding in NYC schools in the first few weeks of the year. As the NY Daily News tells us: "Thousands of classes citywide are packed to the gills in all grades as schools struggle to stretch every scarce dollar, the Daily News has learned. More than 7,200 classes are over the limit set in the teachers union contract, the union says."

If true, how can this be-in the eighth year of the Bloomberg miracle? And what does this say about the vaunted managerial expertise of this mayoral regime-one that has an additional $12 billion or so to try to make the education of our kids better? As one student relates: "In my science research class, there are some kids sitting behind the blackboard," said Renzo Meza, a freshman at Forest Hills High School, which has 384 classes with more than the 34-student limit for high schools."

Now the Klein regime feels that the situation is only temporary: "A DOE spokesman said it's impossible to get an accurate picture of class sizes after a week of school. "As they do every year, the number of classes exceeding the contractual limit will decline dramatically in the coming weeks as enrollment stabilizes and principals add new classrooms to accommodate all of their students," William Havemann said."

Might be true, but what if it isn't-and the situation drags on into the school year? We'll give a student the last word-but this is definitely something to keep an eye on if you're a state senate over sight committee or a candidate for mayor even: "Daniel Kounin, 16, an 11th-grader at Fort Hamilton High School in Brooklyn, where more than 200 classes are overcrowded, said he only got into an Advanced Placement class only after the teacher kicked out another student. "Teachers can't pay attention to all the students," Daniel said. "If someone in the class has a problem in one area, she can't stop to help him. She has to stay on the curriculum."