Monday, May 21, 2007

Small School

If a school historically has a low enrollment rate, what is the role of a Principal to try increase enrollment so class size does not become large? Should they ask the District Superintendent to allow the neighboring overcrowded school to re-route some of their children to your school? Should you hold open houses to encourage increased enrollment, or should you appeal to the Chancellor to allow your school to be a model for a small class size initiative that he says can not occur in the current climate. If this is a small school with a small enrollment why not take the chance? Can this be done in a New York City School, with an enrollment of 34 children in a grade, or should you just have the one class with 34, if the cap is 32. Is it acceptable to have a teacher and a para professional in an upper grade class (in an elementary school) with today's high stake testing requirements? What happens when your school starts to slip behind in the standardized testing, what is the ultimate price to the student, or are students not even in the equation anymore? Is it just data in an $80 million computer that matters.
On the other hand what is the role of the parents on this issue? They are the ones who paid money to move to the neighborhood to let their children go to the excellent school.
The parents need to fight for the right for their children to receive a decent education in NYC. What is the middle ground? I know work together for the greater good.
You can not ask schools to continue to succeed if you are going to increase class size and take teachers out of the classroom. It just does not add up.

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