Tell the Board of Ed: We Want Smaller Classes
Given the importance of class size to student achievement, we are petitioning the Dobbs Ferry Board of Education to:
(1) Add a seventh class for next year’s first grade
(2) Keep next year’s third grade to six classes instead of the proposed five.
This is not a criticism of our excellent teachers. We simply recognize that a teacher cannot possibly give the same level of attention to a child in a class of 22-24 that he or she could in a class of 19-20.
There is substantial evidence that students in small classes (12-17) completed third grade up to seven months ahead of their peers who attended large classes (22-26) for four years in K-3. Even when children returned to larger class sizes in fourth grade, children in small classes earned higher high-school grades, were more likely to complete advanced academic classes, take college admissions tests, and ultimately graduate (Ready, p.9, see link).
Despite severe constraints on this year’s budget, we see that some areas are receiving increases. We believe that basic instruction for our kids in their critical early years should be an area of increase, not decrease. We urge the Board of Education to make smaller K-3 class size a top budget priority.
Nothing is more important than giving our youngest kids a strong foundation for their future academic success.
Review of class size research by Douglas Ready, Associate Professor of Education and Public Policy, Columbia University Teachers College
Dobbs Ferry School District 2013-2014 proposed budget. From the above link, click on March 9, 2013, View Agenda, scroll down to section 7.12, click on 2013-14 Line Item Budget