I will protect your pensions. Nothing about your pension is going to change when I am governor. - Chris Christie, "An Open Letter to the Teachers of NJ" October, 2009

Monday, October 17, 2011

NJ Ed Commish LOVES Small Class Sizes!

We all know that the current political crew in NJ loves them some reformy-type reforms: charters, merit pay, vouchers, bubble testing, and whatnot.

We also know they ignore all the evidence that this nonsense will not work. But what happens when they are confronted with evidence of what actually could bring real reform? What do they say when confronted with reality?
In Freehold the talk was a little more frank about the space problem, where Superintendent of Schools Elizabeth O’Connell detailed how the student population is growing annually, but the district has no room for the additional students and can’t finance upgrading the schools to meet current standards, nevermind building additional classrooms. 

“We had an increase of 55 to 65 children this year, and we’re expected to stay on that path for several years,” O’Connell said, noting that some classes have 27 students in a room.

[NJ Acting Education Commissioner] Cerf said he understood the relation between class size and the difference in student proficiency, with smaller classes yielding better academic results. 
Cerf also talked about proficiency levels in Freehold, questioning how reading levels could have declined. O’Connell said the district is doing its own assessments and using that information to identify individual students who need help and meeting with their parents to work on improving their involvement in academic performance. [emphasis mine]
So Freehold saw class sizes go up. And Cerf acknowledges that class size matters. But he just can't figure out how scores in Freehold declined...

Again: do these people have any idea what they are doing?

ADDING: Leonie Haimson was on to Cerf back in his NYC days under Joel Klein. Leonie's been pushing smaller classes for years. Now that he's in NJ, he acknowledges class size matters. Looks like she finally got through to him.

It's also worth noting Cerf's m.o. back then was to monitor blogs. Yo, Mr. C. - what's up?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Watch out Jazzman: you'll have to report to the commissioner--(Who was in that, Michael Moriarty?)

Is Chris #2 related to Bennett Cerf? That guy also did well for himself collecting bad jokes.

My smallest class is 28; the largest is 37. Can't wait for the HSPA! Oh, that's supposed to get tougher now, right? Bigger classes, tougher tests, tenure reform (removal) . . . do we get the joke?

On the plus side, William Shatner just released a new album.