This site aims to inform and mobilize Beverly parents to take an active role in all issues related to the funding and operation of the city's schools. It was launched in the spring of 2008, when the city saw its first-ever override attempt fail, followed by the closure of a nearly-new elementary school. Subsequent years have seen further cuts that have led to larger class sizes across the district. While the opening of an impressive new high school and plans to replace the city's aging middle school give us reason to be optimistic, the school community must be ever vigilant in demanding appropriate school funding by city and state governments, and better community communications from the district and School Committee.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Advocating for Smaller Class Sizes

We found a great website called Class Size Matters that advocates for smaller class sizes nationwide. The site contains a plethora of data and studies that support smaller class sizes for academic success.  It also details various states' efforts to mandate smaller classes.

The current budget proposal in Beverly creates elementary class sizes as high as 29. It places students in Hannah's 3rd and 4th grade, and Ayers' 5th grade in classes that are more than 50% higher than they have experienced before. If you are not familiar with this proposal, most of the details are contained in the next several posts.

Even if your particular grade is not affected this year, the precedent being set here--to actively look for specific situations where only certain children can be returned to their home school in order to cut a class--could easily thrust any child into a 30-student class at any point.

Monday's School Committee meeting at Memorial is key, as much of this may be finalized and voted on there.  The meeting starts at 7:00 pm. Please make plans to attend.

If you haven't already contacted the School Committee with your views on this, please do so before Monday.

3 comments:

lola said...

26 children swell to 32 when 6 children from the distict wide progran are in the class for most of the day. Add it a teacher, student teacher, a couple of paras and there are 36 people in that classroom. Is that conducive for great learning. Don't look to the administion for help with issues because they deny there is a problem. No Child Left Behind? My child was certainly left behind this year

jhall said...

It is my understanding that the numbers this year do include those students. That is a change from the past where those students weren't included in the initial class size numbers. Still way too many kids for an elementary class.

And I believe those students are usually kept together, so if the numbers say the average is 28, then one of the classes would have a true 28 students; the other would have 22 plus the six from the district program.

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