Education, Michigan Republicans — October 29, 2011 at 5:48 am

Michigan under the GOP fist: 55 kindergarteners per class


THIS is obscene:

City fire marshal investigators plan to inspect every Detroit Public Schools classroom after receiving complaints this week about overcrowded classes with more than 50 students.

Detroit Fire Department representatives met Thursday with district officials to determine the maximum number of students for every classroom in the district, said Assistant Fire Marshal Osric Wilson.

The fire marshal issued a violation this week at Nolan Elementary-Middle School after receiving a tip that a kindergarten class had 55 students. […]

A Detroit Federation of Teachers’ survey of teachers conducted this month concluded that more than 25% of DPS schools have classrooms that exceed the limits allowed by the union contract, which calls for a maximum of 25 students in kindergarten through third grades, 30 in fourth and fifth grades and 35 in sixth through 12th.

The survey concluded that 437 classes of the district’s nearly 3,500 classes are over the contract limit.

For example, Emerson Elementary’s two sixth-grade classes had 53 and 54 students as of Oct. 18. Farwell Leadership Academy had a seventh-grade class with 50 students as of Oct. 12, according to the survey.

Seriously, can you imagine 55 kindergarteners in ONE classroom? Or 54 sixth-graders?

This is a direct result of the GOP cutting funding to schools to pay for an 86% tax cut to businesses. This is what they think will improve Michigan’s economy. If anyone thinks that decimating our public school system in this way and demonizing teachers is the way to bring our state out of its crisis, they are completely out of touch with what brings businesses to a state.


H/T: Jennifer

UPDATE: Thankfully, it looks like the Detroit Public School system isn’t wasting time responding.

Detroit Public Schools has updated data regarding class size issues that have arisen in recent weeks as additional students enroll. Overall enrollment has risen to exceed budgeted projections by almost 300 students, and the district responds to unexpected needs caused by teacher retirements and resignations.

“The good news is that children are still enrolling,” said Steven Wasko, Assistant Superintendent for Community Relations and Chief Communications Officer. “We also know that there are many classes that have as few as 15 or 17 students. For the remaining cases exceeding our limits, affecting 22 out of more than 4,000 classrooms, we are resolving the issues at this time.”

Specifically, the district’s academic leadership had been made aware of 89 requests for additional teachers from principals at 34 schools as of October 19. Forty-four of those teachers were deployed as of Wednesday.

The additional 45 teachers have been recalled, a process that allows the teacher up to 10 days to report based on the current union contract. Of those 45, 23 have already reported and the remaining 22 will return within that 10-day window. In those 22 classrooms spread across eight schools, the district has deployed substitutes in all cases.

Seems like they need to work on their teacher allocation system to me.

Update H/T: Another Jennifer