Friday, August 22, 2008

Class Size and Charter Schools in NYC

Here are comments from 2 posts by Leonie Haimson on the NYCEducation News listserve.

Here is [my question/comment on charter schools] – posted on the NY times website yesterday.

(You can easily look up the funding your own school received last year on the DOE website, divide by the enrollment and check if your school got more or less than the $11,000 per student received by NYC charter schools last year.)

Question: Mr. Merriman says that charter schools are seriously hampered by receiving less funding, but according to DOE budget documents they received more than $11,000 per student this past year, and are projected to receive $12,500 per student next.

Meanwhile, the school that my child attends receives about $7400 per student. Mr. Merriman also argues that charter schools don’t receive any funding for facilities — but why should they need to when the administration gives them prime real estate in our existing public school buildings, at the same time taking away valuable classroom and cluster spaces from the students at the existing public school?

Moreover, as mentioned above, charter schools have the most valuable advantage of all — the ability to cap enrollment and class size at any level they want.

My question is this: who pays for custodial services, lunch, and transportation services at charter schools that share buildings with traditional public schools? Does the DOE charge the charter schools extra for this, or is this also provided free of charge?

thanks for the info in advance,

— Posted by leonie haimson

Harvard reclaims No. 1 from Princeton in latest U.S. News list and guess why?

Excerpt: So how did Harvard edge past its Ivy League rival? A comparison of last year's numbers points to one category where it moved ahead of Princeton — average class size. Harvard reports the percentage of students in classes under 20 students rose from 69% to 75% since last year's report, while the percentage in classes bigger than 50 fell from 13% to 9%.

Asked whether Harvard had made a particular effort to reduce class sizes, Mitchell said: "We have worked and will continue to work very hard to enhance the academic experience for undergraduate students." Since 2000, he said, Harvard has added 86 freshman seminars (which have fewer than 12 students), and more than 100 tenure-track faculty, while its student body size has stayed about the same.

So Harvard reduces class size for the highest achieving students in the country, including creating more seminars with fewer than 12 students; but somehow this administration can claim – with a straight face – that it doesn’t matter if some of our most disadvantaged NYC public school students continue to suffer in classes of 34.

How’s that for a double standard?

Leonie Haimson

1 comment:

avoiceinthewilderness said...

Apparently, Mayor and Chancellor have high hopes for NYC Charter Schools.
Press Release from DOE: