US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, on changes he thinks schools might need to make to adjust to a "new normal" that includes harder economic times*:
He urged districts to consider "modest but smartly targeted increases in class size." As a parent, Duncan said, he'd much rather have his kids in a class of 26 with a really excellent teacher, than in a class with 22 kids, lead by a mediocre teacher.I do not believe I have ever, in my near 15-year career, had an average class size of 22. It has been many years since I have had an average class size of 26. The last five years, when I've been keeping documentation just for kicks, I've averaged over 30 every year. This year, I'm at 32, skewed downward slightly by one small AP section (my other AP section is at 36).
Of course, Duncan also said this:
Duncan said he'd like districts to consider reworking contracts so that effective teachers (particularly those who choose to work with more kids) can make a lot more money, say $80,000, or even $125,000.So if he thinks teachers who average 26 kids should be earning $100k or so (picking a number in the middle), what about those of us teaching 30+?
He said this at a forum sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute, which hates public education to begin with. Duncan's kind of people.