Class sizes aren’t accurately depicted in compilations of data

Here’s some information on class sizes in the SMSD which highlights the danger of relying on compilations of data. Some have asserted that the student teacher ratio in SMSD is 15 to 1, but that fails to recognize that music, PE, art, speech and other teachers are in that number. Those teachers are important, not extra, but that doesn’t mean our children are learning math in a class of 15.
One of the hot topics in the ongoing debate over class size right now is what the actual Class Sizes are. For parents – we know how big they are, our kids are enrolled in the classes. What spinners are trying to spin, is that the ratio is around 15:1. This is completely inaccurate. The last few years worth of data is in the following report and what it provides is that while the ratio for 2012 – 2013 in SM was 17:1 – that is for every 17 enrolled student, there was a teacher in the building – that count included teachers that don’t have a dedicated classroom – like gym teachers, speech teachers (for kids in need of speech pathology) art teachers, music teachers, and other certified professionals that may be helping with disabled students or hired specifically with funds designated for Title 1 schools that receive federal funding to supplement schools with significant poverty. The classroom guidelines for elementary last year in SMSD put max class size at 26 for kindergarten and first grade, at 29 for second and third, and 30 for fourth through sixth. 2013 – 2014 is anticipated to be worse, although a final compilation on the numbers has not yet been prepared. This information can be found in the Staffing and Enrollment Guidelines found at the SMSD website Public Information page, under the tab marked Enrollment Trends.

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