Results are trickling in from the OEA-Oregon PTA class size campaign, and the snapshot of what Oregon students face when they head to school is just shocking. Reports from teachers, parents, and students include:
68 high school photography class (with just two cameras) in Beaverton
65 elementary students in choir in Oregon City
57 middle school students in a math class in Beaverton
55 high school students in an alternative ed/night school class in Hermiston
48 students in one visual arts middle school class in Salem
48 11th graders in a social studies class in Eugene
46 7th graders trying to learn Spanish in one classroom in Beaverton
Earlier this fall, Steve Duin at the Oregonian shared a glimmer of the impact on students when they are forced to share short classroom instruction time and overburdened teachers with so many students in a class.
Wagner has 215 restless teenagers on her watch… “Let’s say I assign an essay,” she says, “and I spend only 10 minutes responding to each one… That’s 35.8 hours. How many times do you think I can assign an essay to students who have to pass a state writing test in February?”
[Junior] Rebecca Ray doesn’t remember a high-school class with less than 35 students: “We have 56 kids in P.E. My math class? There’s 46.”
The class sizes aren’t just physically uncomfortable; they severely limit teachers’ abilities to teach their students. Imagine: 46 students in a math class that is 50 minutes long. If the teacher spends just half of the class time on attendance, collecting/distributing papers, and providing a lecture, that’s about 20 minutes of instruction and only 30 seconds of individual time for check-ins or questions for each student.
So, what do we do?
This image is actually a teaser of an infographic we’re excited to share with you in full later next week. Stay tuned for the big reveal!