Class sizes at New York City public schools have increased for the sixth consecutive year, according to a preliminary report from the city’s Department of Education.
The average citywide class size increased 0.6 percent from last year, from 26.4 students to 26.5 students, according to the report.
“Class sizes across the city are unlikely to decrease significantly unless the next mayor and chancellor devote more resources towards hiring more teachers, and invest in a more ambitious school construction plan,” said Leonie Haimson, executive director of Class Size Matters, in a statement.
Elementary school classes increased by 0.4 students, from 24.8 to 25.2 average students per class. Middle school classes decreased by 0.3 students, from 27.2 to 27 average students per class, and high school classes increased by 0.4 students from 26.2 to 26.6 average students per class.
According to the report, 55 percent of schools either shrank or had minimal increases in class size. Forty-five percent of schools had increases.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg promised to reduce class sizes when he came into office, advocates say. He came under attack in 2011 when he suggested a better tactic would be to halve the number of teachers, weeding out underperformers, and double class sizes.
Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has said he would make reducing class sizes a key part of his education plan, particularly in the early grades and in struggling schools.
The DOE reports on class size twice a year. The agency will release an updated report in February.