The Fine Print: Why Some New York City Parents Are Against Smaller Class Sizes

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“On October 18, The New York Times published a piece entitled, “Smaller Classes? At Elite Schools, Some Parents Say ‘No Thanks,” in which the author seemed surprised at the counterintuitive revelation that some NYC parents are not automatically cheering the September 2022 law signed by Governor Kathy Hochul mandating lowering class size

This initiative would phase in over a period of six years until, by 2028, Kindergarten through 3rd grade classes would be capped at 20 students, 4th through 8th grades could have no more than 23, and a maximum of 25 students per class would be allowed in high school.

But Linda Quarles, a member of the Citywide Council for High Schools, understood some parents’ concerns: “This entire situation is quite counterintuitive. When I first heard about smaller classes, I was, as well as most parents naturally would be, very supportive of the idea. It sounds so good in theory. The more I learned about the implications and trade-offs involved, I (became) convinced this is not in service of our kids. Most parents I speak to are supportive of the concept until they learn about what this will actually mean for their kids and the students of DOE as a whole. The data that I’ve seen is that currently the schools with larger classes are performing overall at a better level than the schools with smaller class sizes. So, in terms of what this is attempting to achieve in bridging the gap for lower performing kids and schools, I have no level of confidence it is going to move the dial at all.”

Read the full article on The 74: