The dismal economic climate may well be represent "new normal" for schools, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said today at a forum sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute, a free market think tank.
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. And he said that in Asian countries that tend to do well on international benchmarks (like South Korea and Japan) average classes in secondary schools are 30 or more, as opposed to the U.S. average of about 25.
He also suggested when layoffs come, "talented young teachers" should be saved from the cuts.
To reiterate: the Obama administration is encouraging districts to make class sizes even larger than they already are and to lay off expensive veteran teachers so that the cheaper newbies can be saved.
I already have 34 a class. That's 170 students a day.
Now Duncan is saying they can add put three or four more students into each of my classes (five if some don't mind sitting on the radiator) and save all that groovy money for more data base building and no-bid test contracts.
Should make teaching just fabulous to have 16-20 additional students a day.
Can't wait to see what that does to my value-added rankings!
But since Duncan is suggesting I - veteran teacher that I am - should be laid off to save the younger and cheaper teachers from budget cuts, I guess it doesn't really matter anyway.
Wow - I do hope Repubs are true to their word and subpoena every part of this administration, including the DOE, for rigorous oversight.
I want to see Duncan under the kleig lights with a subpoena slapped to his forehead explaining where all that RttT and i3 money went.
Actually I just want to see Duncan slapped, but I'll take congressional oversight on him too.
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