Wednesday, December 19

DOE announces improvements in class size ... data

The DOE has just announced "new measures to improve transparency and detail in class size reporting." Using improved means of data collection, the DOE will start publishing class size reports so parents can know on a grade-by-grade, school-by-school level how large classes are. Now that sounds like the kind of report parents might actually trust when deciding where to send their kids. Of course, they'll have to wade through an Excel file with more than 16,000 entries to get the information they want.

Nowhere in the press release is there any indication that the DOE has intentions of reducing class sizes beyond what principals choose to do on their own, with the help of the DOE's "targeted class size reduction coaching program." But perhaps the improved transparency is a concession by the DOE that parents think class size is important? That would be a major shift from earlier this year, when the DOE worked hard to downplay parents' calls for smaller class sizes in the Learning Environment Surveys.

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