Sunday, July 8

Parents: DOE's spending plan in "bad faith"

Above: Parents at the press conference demonstrate the minor effect of reducing class size by less than one kid per class. Philissa Cramer/

At this morning's press conference on the steps of City Hall, Robert Jackson, chair of the City Council's education committee, and small class size advocates railed against the DOE's "bad faith effort" to reduce class size, as outlined in the city's proposed spending plan. They also took aim at the DOE's "lack of transparency" with the hard numbers behind this initiative and others; in particular, they noted that it's unclear just how many of the 1,300 new teachers the DOE says it is hiring will have their own classrooms. Here are some sound bites from the press conference:

Jackson: "We said, where's the rest of the plan? ... You question [DOE officials], and most of the time they will not come up with answers. ... There's so much lack of transparency, I cannot tell [what's true] as chair of the education committee."

Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters: "We asked [DOE officials] how many new general education classes will there be? They couldn't tell us."

Noreen Connell of the Educational Priorities Panel: "What is the advantage of this bad faith effort? What can be gained by not reducing class size?"

Several people who spoke also decried the mid-summer timeline for responding to the DOE's spending plan, which could prevent people from being able to get information quickly and weigh in with their feedback. You can give feedback on the plan at five public hearings on the Contracts for Excellence this week. See the Insideschools calendar for details.

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