Here’s what class size really means.

Let me lay this out differently – this whole class size business.

Let’s forget that the government has illegally removed class size limits, which, in itself, is an affront to the rule of law. Let’s ignore the fact that more students in a class equal less one-on-one time, and more classroom management issues.  Let’s plain disregard all of the legalities and rationale behind the desire for smaller class sizes.

Let’s look at what this means for kids who want to take classes, but can’t, because the schools can’t afford to offer them.

Going back to the illegally removed class size limits would be ridiculously expensive. The government has said so itself. And would you like to know why? It’s because there are fewer teachers teaching, since there are fewer classes offered.

Here’s a real world example: at my current school, 66 students want to take French 12 next year. 66! That’s freaking amazing. They want to take an academic elective. High fives and fist bumps to all. That’s awesome; they’re awesome.

Now, there was a time when these kids would all get to take French 12. The number would be split into three classes of 22 and, voila, 66 grade 12 students get to take the elective of their choice.

But these days? These days, we’d be lucky to see two classes of 33. We’re more likely to see two classes of 30 – since the rooms at this school literally can’t seat more than that safely – and 6 kids who don’t get to take French 12. 6 kids who just flat out don’t get to enroll because the district can’t afford to run another block.

This happens all the time, in all different electives – including senior science courses.

Now, would having a class size cap of 30 negate this situation in and of itself? No.

But you need to ask yourself what changed. Why do kids need to be told that they can’t take an academic elective that they’ve worked their butts off for? Why can’t we just run three blocks of smaller classes?

Because the removal of the cap limits led to a reduction in funding as class sizes grew and fewer teachers were needed. And now we can’t afford to educate the most driven students.

Class size isn’t just about the number of students in a single class. It’s about being able to offer those classes at all.

One thought on “Here’s what class size really means.

  1. Megan L

    Well said Ashley!!! I’ve shared this on my facebook because it is such a great explanation!