Class ROOM size 2009/2010 Schools & Kids, posted by Cramped, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 9, 2009 at 11:54 pm
There are studies of the standard american school system that say:
Per square foot of room size, the average grade school student spends 5-6 hours a day in a space much smaller than the average JAIL cell!
Take your agerage classroom size of 25x30 for example. Thats 750 square foot of surface. Not even including desks, book cases etc. that works out to less than THIRTY SQUARE FOOT of space per child for 5-6 hours a day! Thats an area of FIVE feet by SIX feet!
How many parents would keep their kids confined to a room that is FIVE feet by SIX feet for 5-6 hours a day?
Thats what we get for our 28% income as well as state taxes!
Obsurd! So, the theory that an extra FIVE students per class room for kids in 1st through 3rd grade will make no differance is off base.
Posted by PToWN94566, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 12:31 am PToWN94566 is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
As I have said before, if a teacher can't properly handle a class one year at 20:1 and then 25:1 the next, he or she shouldn't be in the classroom.
There are studies of all kinds out there, but if you think logically about the situation we are just generalizing that our students here in town will only do better in small classes. What about the pros and cons of smaller size? What about other countries who are at the top notion when it comes to education, that have much larger class sizes compared to ours?
People want to have their cake and eat it to (kind of like certain PUSD employees)- there is an obvious huge budget problem, teachers don't want to be laid off, some want to keep the whole step and column while also keeping small class sizes and keep certain programs in place. Someone else pointed out on another thread some issues about the STAR testing. Yes test scores may be going up with smaller classes sizes, but are we really assessing students? Are the test scores giving accurate, truthful results? Japan has much larger classes sizes than we do, but they seem to be far ahead of the education game than the U.S. A study done in 2000 compared U.S. to Taiwan, where Taiwan has some schools with 50+ plus students- they still managed to keep up with the U.S.
Personally, I think schools should have the power to set student to teacher ratio, based on the grade level and the school. Also, student success should never be based on small class size- by doing so we are being ignorant and setting up ourselves up for future disappointment.
Posted by another boomer, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 8:26 am
As I have said before - we "boomers" grew up in a system that had 30+ students per class room & we did just fine. As for the 5 x 6 area per child sounds miserable - maybe its good training for the 5 x 6 cubicles alot of us endure for 8+ hrs. per day without recess.
Posted by Privatize, a resident of another community, on Jun 10, 2009 at 8:43 am
Who cares. Home school or private school. Public school is legalized child abuse. Anyone who sends their kid to public schools should be ashamed. Drugs, violence, teachers who can't read and write much less teach.
Posted by Jeff, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 9:51 am
Whether the parcel tax passed or not, PUSD was going to increase class sizes to 25 in K-3 and 9th grades. They already had the information from the state about the costs to do this as did anyone who was following what was going on with the state budget discussions. This was just information the district did not want to make public until after the election.
Posted by KGM, a resident of the Valley Trails neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 12:01 pm
Your point is well taken. Research has indicated that students do benefit from smaller class sizes at certain age/grade levels, which helped frame California's CSR goals. People continue to make the argument that they were in classes of 30+ (when I was in grade school, too), but the fact remains that there is a big difference in the amount of attention and instruction that can be given to 20 students v. 30 students. We are not trying to do "just fine, or even worse, "train" our kids for 5 x 6 cubicles! We must continue to raise, and at the very least maintain, our standards in education. When STAR testing shows improved results, we see people questioning the testing. What measure should we use, then? CSR is an important component in education, and a priority as voiced by families here in Pleasanton, when asked by the district to prioritize programs and services.
Posted by Pablo, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 12:30 pm
What in the world are wrong with you people? If your kids behaved which is your responsibility and not the teachers it would make no difference if there were 40 in a class. More kids and more disruption so do not pass on your responsiblity to the teachers as they are just that teachers and not prison guards.
Posted by Pick a side, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 12:35 pm
The teachers are the ones telling us they are better equipped to teach values and morals. They want us to take a page out of their books when discipling our kids. They want to tell us when to edcuate our children on sexual issues.
They can't have it both ways. If they want me to discipline my kids, then they need to stay out of it. If they want to instuct morals and values, then they need to do it all: Sex ed, "tolerance", the Bible. Which is it?
I'll discipline my child and teach my child morals if they stick to teaching the 3 R's.
Posted by Pablo, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 12:39 pm
Pick a side, I agree with you 100% and your kids behavior is your job and my job and not theirs. They should teach the kids the fundamentals of education or the 3 R's as you say. Sex, morals, responsibility, opinions should be shaped by the family..............................period! What bothers me here is that the parents are the ones which are campaigning for ratios when they do not want to take the hard line with their kids. Everybody wants to be their kids buddy but life is not that way when they are young. They need discipline and direction from the parents otherwise they will get it someplace else.
Posted by KGM, a resident of the Valley Trails neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 1:15 pm
The argument is not that we need smaller classes because kids are out of control. To state that the parents advocating for ratios don't discipline their kids mixes two very different debates. Additionally, the idea of values and morals teaching in the class is not part of this debate. Class size reduction is about being able to focus on fundamental learning concepts within a reasonably sized group of learners.
Posted by Pick a side, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 1:32 pm
I get your point, but mine is this (and I think Pablo's as well?), no matter how many kids are in my child's class, my child is going to behave and sit and listen and do their job and learn. My job is to immediately make contact with my child afterschool, invest my time in disciplining them and training them and educating them. My job is to show my children how what they learned at school will be used and to teach them the value of it.
I guess you can relate it to a private, specialty class I may want my child to participate in. If I don't teach my child to be respectful in the classroom and then bring home the info they were given to practice at home, what is the point of paying for the class?
Likewise, to expect a teacher to have to discipline the kids and not focus on their job to teach is a waste of everyone's resources. Pablo and I are pointing out that the home a child comes from plays the largest part in how a child values education and their own achievement, ergo classroom performance.
See in my house, "The Board of Education" doesn't refer to a panel of people in office. My kids know my expectations of them and if not, they get a "visit" from the "Board" as soon as I see them next.
It didn't take much to implement and my kids are always told they have amazing respect for their classroom teachers, are a joy to teach, etc. My spouse and I are continually pulled aside for our kids GOOD behavior.
One mom said she doesn't know how we do it with multiple kids, as she herself has one child with behavior problems. Since she asked, I told her I would have had her kid behind the shed a long time ago. She didn't looked too pleased, but it was the truth. Little Timmy was constantly a problem this year and took so much energy from the teacher. That parent should have been charged a fee for how many times the principal got involved. My kid who was in that class wanted nothing to do with this kid. Why? Because we have told our children that you are judged by the company you keep and my kids understand consequences. I'm not my kids friend - I'm their parent. When they have kids, I'll be their friend because it is then that they will need one - to tell them the truth.
Posted by Pablo, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 1:47 pm
I agree 100% with pick a side. When I went to school and granted that was some time ago my parents (dad) told me that my responsibility and his was for me to pay attention and behave in class and if I chose not to he would deal with it and not the school. He also said that it was the teachers responsibility to teach and I was to do nothing other than allow them to do their job. Pretty simple and straight up.
Posted by KGM, a resident of the Valley Trails neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 2:25 pm
The discipline model works great if you operate under the assumption that students are sponges who can simply and evenly absorb information. While I'm not disputing the importance of self-discipline and appropriate classroom behavior, class size reduction addresses the fact that all students have their own academic strengths and weaknesses. A smaller teacher to student ratio provides a better opportunity for students to receive attention to improve understanding in their academic areas of need. It's not an issue of teachers having fewer students "to handle," but instead an issue of teachers being able to better address some of the individual academic needs of the students.
Posted by Pick a side, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 2:46 pm
I really see your point; I somewhat even agree with you as far as individual needs.
CSR is a luxury. If we can afford it, great, if we cannot, we're going to have to look around at what we can do for our own kids.
I think the gravy train is over for a lot of people who haven't had to do much in recent years but live off the public coffers. Entitlement programs are over, lazy parenting (and I'm definitely not referring to you)with attitudes that it is the teacher's job to teach the kids, etc is screeching to a halt at long last.
I'm going to make darn sure I stay in close contact with all my kids' teachers - but that won't change from this year or years past.
Speaking of which, time to go make parent-teacher contact right now. I'll check in with you later.
Posted by Pablo, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 3:42 pm
I think it is important that the parents assume responsibility for the behavior of their children because without that it is hard for a teacher to assess if everyone is absorbing at the same level (not one size fits all and they do not absorb at the same level). If we can reduce and I did not say eliminate bad behavior by our children I believe it gives the teachers a chance to see who need more work, who needs help, who is just fine, how each child learns etc.
I honestly believe that if a teacher has a problem with a student they should just direct the child down to the big office where they contact the parents at work if necessary and tell them to come down to the school to deal with their child and the child is not allowed to return to school until such time as the parent meets with the school to let them know how they as a parent are going to insure that child is not a problem. I bet if you get called out of a meeting at work and have to take a day off to deal with "junior" you might get your dander up a little and make your point clear to the problem child............parent engagement so the teachers can teach.
Posted by Me Too, a resident of the Canyon Creek neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 9:24 pm
Its great that the few people on this board actually deal with their kids discipline, but I'm sorry, there are many parents who don't care if there kids misbehaves in school and expect the school to deal with it. That's one of the major issues is that there are wildly different expectations placed on schools and teachers by different parents.
Let's not forget the legal issues involved. If a student is walking home from school and gets in a fight a mile from school the school can be held liable for failure to protect the children. I gurantee you this is not something the schools want to deal with, but our grand lawyers and legal system have made it so. So the schools have to spend money on things and discipline students who aren't even at school, because are legal system says so. That's where a lot of this comes from. Just imagine if a student throws a hard object at another student and the student suffers a minor injury (a cut or bruise or something) and the schools reaction is to say "let the parents deal with it." Then that student does the same thing a week later, yet the student suffers a major injury. The lawyers would attack the school for not addressing the issue. An "Its the parents problem" jsut doesn't fly in our current judicial system - ALTHOUGH IT SHOULD!
Maybe we should put some protection for the schools on the books?
Also, you can see the persons point about 30 square feet - I mean don't we have lots of families of 3 or 4 living in 3000, 4000, 5000+ square foot houses? Its no wonder children would feel cramped when the at home have a bedroom bigger than their classroom, plus another private personal playroom the same size. Having to hang out in 750 sq ft room, and only be able to go outside to play twice in 6 hours plus lunch is absurd. (please note major amounts of sarcasm)
Posted by Privatize, a resident of another community, on Jun 10, 2009 at 9:32 pm
" believe it gives the teachers a chance to see who need more work,"
Show some spine! Stop taking my tax dollars and forcing me to raise your children. Public schools are a menace. Why can't pony up and pay for a real school or find someone who can home school for you. It isn't my responsibility. What kind of values do you want your kids to have? Is your time that important that you have to warehouse them for 8 hours a day?
That may sound a little harsh, but maybe its the kick you need to get your house in order.
Posted by A parent from this community, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 11, 2009 at 9:58 am
Take a hike. We don't want vouchers and home schools, we want and need our own community to stand up for our childrens education and have PUSD continue to provide the excellent education we expect. I suspect that your own children must have had issues in public schools and you are bitter because you could not control everyone around you. There are plenty of fine young men and women who will graduate from PUSD this week. You are the menace with your close mindedness. So kick yourself and get your own house in order.
Posted by Marcia, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 11, 2009 at 10:53 am
As a "boomer" let me tell those of you 'posting boomers' out there that we did, in fact, do fine with 30+ kids in the class BUT, what you are forgeting (or refuse to acknowledge) are some of the following:
1. DISCIPLINE and RESPECT started at home and carried through into the classrooms. The parents actually supported the teacher! Novel concept!
2. Classrooms were physically much larger than what they are now AND had windows to look out while natural lighting filtered in. In fact, CA schools, because CA thinks its crap doesn't stink, made smaller classrooms (many without windows) because they advocated for fewer students/class (good idea as long as $ doesn't become an issue) and thought no windows would be one less distraction.
3. English WAS the only language spoken. The teacher didn't have to take time to 'lead' the less comprehending children along.
4. Teachers were to focus on the 3 R's, didn't worry about "profiling" a child based on performance, didn't have to do "me-ologies, etc" to make the kids feel good to know who they were.
5. It was a rare chance that a child came from a broken home so the kid came to school less disfunctional than what seems to be the norm now. (go ahead and beat me up on this...but truth is truth....ask the child what it's like to jump from home to home on a weekly basis or to hear one parent bad mouth the other in front of their kid(s), etc. BTW, most mom's stayed home to welcome, support, nurture their children.
Finally, as I subbed in the schools, there were grave concerns of such crowded classrooms that I questioned what the fire codes, what the fire department would say, about such 'stuffing' of the children. One classroom I witnessed, we had a fire drill and many of the students literally had to jump over chairs to get out. Not cool!!
So, give it some thought. Times have changed. Us 'boomers' and our mentality should do likewise.
Posted by Karen, a member of the Vintage Hills Elementary School community, on Jun 11, 2009 at 12:03 pm
Good news for parents with children in school and supportive community members:
2 school organizations (PPIE and PSE) are holding a fundraiser starting June 15 and running through August to raise $2.8 million to save K-3 and 9th grade CSR, fund one reading specialist per school, and retain counselors. They do not specify the suggested donation amount, but we are going to donate $233 minimum.
For those of you who suppport our schools, please donate. Thank you!
Posted by Privatize, a resident of another community, on Jun 11, 2009 at 12:18 pm
Looks like maybe I touched a nerve there. Now, let's get that energy focused on doing something positive, and not tearing other people down.
Look, I've said it time and time again, public schools are legalized child abuse. Public schools are socialism. That's not what made this country great. Defeat of your town's tax measure was a cause for celebration. It sent the message to liberals like Obama and Pelosi: "NOT WITH MY MONEY". If you pull your kids out of the system, you're going to see improvement from day one. Meanwhile the schools will wither on the vine from neglect and ultimately shut down. Here is some more information on home schooling, if you can't afford private or schools:
Together we defeated Measure G. Don't foul it up by perpetuating a broken system. That is just what the unions want you to do. Now is not the time to volunteer or donate to broken schools. Use that money and energy in constructive ways.
Posted by Uncramped, a resident of another community, on Jun 12, 2009 at 7:01 pm
Please get real. I went all through private school with 50, yes 50, students in a class. I went on to graduate from college and then, oh my, got a Masters. What's the problem? Oh, by the way I'm also a teacher and yes, I love classes that get smaller and smaller but I also feel I can work harder and deal with a few more students. Let's bust our butts a bit more and make it work.
Posted by Post Boomer, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Jun 12, 2009 at 7:32 pm
As a teacher I respect the teaching of discipline and respect. I do what I can but I do not own this responsibility. This responsibility lies with parents.
As far as classrooms without windows..many of us never had classrooms that opened to the outdoors. We had classrooms that opened to hallways, 2, 3 stories high. I open my classroom door as frequently as possible to get a feel for the outdoors; and windows do exist in classrooms.
When I first started teaching I had not only a large Hispanic population to deal with but also Asian. The same challenges were there.
I have to admit we didn't "teach to the test". I'll give you that one.
Broken homes have always existed. Foster children have always existed. For those of us teaching in the inner cities, housing projects and single parent homes were the norm. Also, abuse is not a new thing, either spousal or child abuse.
as far as jumping over chairs to evacuate a classroom...please, be prepared and let's get some training that relates to the environment.
Those are my thoughts. I think everyone's perspective is valid,
Posted by Cramped, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 12, 2009 at 8:03 pm
You sound old school and ridgid. Perhap yo're one of the ol' burn out techers that was spared? If you think cramming FIFTY kids into a small classroom for k-3 is just fine, you ARE ol' school and choose to beieve in old information, or you just don't give a darn?