Mayor Bloomberg believes that having a high-quality teacher is crucial, and most people would agree with him.

Mayor Bloomberg also thinks that class size is unimportant, and most parents and teachers would disagree with him.

In the past, he said that he would be happy if he could double the class size and double teachers’ salaries, thus guaranteeing a “great” teacher in every classroom.

But here is the unknown: Would a teacher who is “effective” with a class of 24 be equally effective with a class of 48?

On his weekly radio show, he said today:

“I got in trouble every time I say this. But I would do anything to have better quality teachers, even if it meant bigger class size, even if it meant them standing rather than sitting. That’s what really makes a difference. That human being that looks the student in the eye, adjusts the curriculum based on instinct what’s in the child’s interest.”

So, his ideal would be a classroom so crowded that the children were standing because there were not enough chairs for them. And somehow, the teacher–with 48 or 60 or 70 or 80 children in her class–would be able to look every student in the eye and adjust the curriculum based on her instinct about what was in that child’s interest.

There is a disconnect here. The mayor, who is now spending big money to spread his educational vision to Los Angeles and Louisiana, does not seem to understand that having a super-large class makes it impossible for the teacher to look each student in the eye–even when they are standing, not sitting–and know what is in the student’s best interest. What he wants to happen is more likely to happen in a classroom with 20 or fewer students, not in an overcrowded classroom.

If only he had some experienced educators who were advising him!