Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Parents demand smaller class sizes

The following article appeared on the Students First website. Students First did not attribute the source however Ms. Schory is a reporter for the Northwest Herald.

Why do parents in District 47 demand smaller class size? Who or what group said that smaller class size is an important issue? If district 47 parents did any research into the subject they would know this. It appears these parents believe the propaganda fed to them by a PR firm, the district and/or district employees (including the teachers). What do these people have in common? They would all benefit financially from class size reduction? Parents fall for the baloney thinking there kids will benefit when in fact they will not.

"The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one."
Adolf Hitler

“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.”
Adolf Hitler

Kevin Craver one of the Northwest Herald's best reporters did a report on small class sizes which appeared in the May 2, 2004 edition of the Northwest Herald.

To research class size issues we suggest the following sources Politicizing Class Size by Casey J. Lartigue Jr.
and the class size series by Eric Hanushek of the Hoover Institute Stanford University.

Parents demand smaller class sizes

CRYSTAL LAKE - With 30 or more students in their children's third-grade class at North Elementary School, some parents are demanding that District 47 do more to make the class sizes smaller.

"That's too many kids for one teacher," parent Lisa Van Bosch said. "They are not getting the education they deserve. I have every faith in the teachers, but common sense should tell you if there are 31 or 34 children in a class, those struggling would be left out."

Parents said it was not fair that their children were in classrooms that on average had six more students than other third-grade classrooms in the district. But school officials said they were under budget constraints and couldn't hire a new teacher, so aides would have to work with the children in the larger classrooms.

Two North third-grade classrooms have 31 students and three have 30. One with 31 students also soon will have three special-education students and their aide for half a day. The third grades in the district's other eight elementary schools average 24 students, officials said.

Superintendent Ronald Miller said the district had to consider the cost, as District 47 has a $724,000 deficit in its operating budget that officials were trying to contain by saving money and getting more revenue.

The five half-time aides in North's third grades cost $32,500 or about $6,500 each, Miller said.

Overall, the district spends nearly $180,000 on aides.

"We have reserves," Miller said. "Should we use those reserves now? It's a very difficult balance providing help to teachers and students and being fiscally responsible. It's a trade-off."

Donna Relic said her daughter started first grade at North in 2004 with 30 in the class.

"The overcrowding issues were glaringly apparent at that time," Relic said. "It is two years later and nothing has changed."

But Miller said the district has tinkered with boundaries and moved some students from North to Husman.

North has the largest enrollment among the district's elementary schools with 881 students. The others range from 462 at Canterbury to 830 at Glacier Ridge.

The problem is not confined to third grade. Miller said North also has 167 second-graders in six classrooms.

"This is not the first time we've had 30 students in a classroom," Miller said. "Our board recognizes the higher the class size, the more help a teacher needs. As with other schools in the past, our board believes at this time, it is best to address it with classroom aide service."

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