Forwarded from Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters:

Latest state data shows NYC class sizes rising in most grades – despite administration claims
State class size data was just released in selected grades and subjects for the school year 2004-5.  (See, table 3.9, p. 50)
This data shows that in NYC, class sizes rose in nearly every grade and subject compared to the year before. Compare this to the claim in the Mayor's Management Report:
 "From the 2003-2004 School Year to the 2004-2005 School Year, class sizes were reduced in every grade except grade 1.", p.29)
Detailed state tables are also available to compare class sizes in NYC at even more grade levels between 2003-4 and 2004-5 (at and; see last pages)
Together, this data reveals that between 2003-4 and 2004-5 school year,

Average class sizes in NYC rose in 1st grade (from 21.8 to 22.6) (This was the only grade that the MMR reported as larger– but instead, at a much lower level --from 21.6 to 21.7 students per class)

Average class sizes also rose in 2nd grade (from 22 to 22.1)  

Though average NYC Kindergarten class sizes were slightly lower than the year before, classes were significantly larger on average than in 2001-2002, before Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein took control of the schools.  ( 21.8 compared to 21.3)

According to the new state data, in each of the other elementary grades, except for 3rd, class sizes also grew in 2004-5:

In 4th grade, average class size rose (from 24.8 to 24.9 students per class)  

In 5th, average class sizes rose (from 26.5 to 26.6 students per class.)  
In the middle grades, the state data shows that class sizes rose in three out of the four categories listed:

In 6th grade, average class size rose (from 27 to 27.6 students per class.)  

In 7th grade English, average class size rose (from 27.1 students per class to 27.9.)  

In 7th grade US history, average class sizes grew even more sharply (from 27.2 to 28.5 students per class.)  
In high school, NYC class sizes rose in eight out of the twelve courses listed:

In Global studies 9 (from 28.6 to 28.7 students per class.)  

In Global studies 10 (from 28.6 to 29.3 students per class.)  

11th grade English (from28.1 to 28.7 students per class.)  

In Spanish 1, (from 28.5 to 29.5 students per class.)  

In Physics, (from 27.9 to 29.6.)  

Regents Bio, (from 28.6 from 28.8.)  

US History, (from 28.8 to 29.2.)  

In Regents Math course 1, (from 29.2 to 32.5.)  
The most alarming trend is revealed by this new data is the rise in class sizes for Regents Math course 1 in NYC. 
In the 2004-5 school year, this course, essential to pass Regents exams, class sizes grew to 32.5 students per class, compared to only 26.1 students in the 2001-2 school year, a 25% increase.
This new state data not only belies the administration's claim of declining class sizes in most grades, but also the MMR claim that high school class sizes averaged only 26.4 in 2004-5.  (see, p.12)

In fact, this new state data shows there was not a single HS subject in NYC where classes were smaller than 28.2 students that year– with most averaging about 29.
Compare that to average high school class sizes in the rest of the state of between 20-22 students per class.
This overall rise in class sizes did not occur because of a lack of funds, but a lack of priorities
Enrollment has been decreasing overall, and since 2000-2001, the state has provided almost $90 million in annual funds to reduce class sizes in K-3.
The fact that class sizes grew in 2004 in grades 1 and 2, and Kindergarten classes were larger than before Bloomberg took control of the schools, is a direct result of the fact that every year, fewer classes have been offered in the early grades since 2001-2, 861 fewer classes overall, according to an audit from the State comptroller's office.  (see, p.33)
The audit of the city's use of the state class size funds also found the following:

In 2004-5, the city provided only 20 additional classes over the baseline number that existed before the state class size reduction program began, despite $90 million in annual funds.  

Instead, as the audit concluded, the DoE improperly used millions of these dollars to pay for teaching positions which had existed before the program began – contrary to law:  
 "'we believe that the DoE's calculations are not consistent with the Law, because DoE's method substitutes Program funding for local funding that was used previously for early grade classes (and teachers) that existed prior to the Program's implementation." (, p.4)
According to this audit, if DOE officials had actually created the 1586 additional classes that they claimed in 2004-5, class sizes in NYC would have averaged 19.1 students in grades K-3, rather than about 22, as this state data now reveals, and our children would have had the benefits of even smaller classes in these grades on average than the rest of the state.
Leonie Haimson
Class Size Matters
124 Waverly Pl.
New York, NY 10011