Are there large classes in Los Angeles Unified School
District? Some commenters say yes, some say no. The average for the
district does not answer the question, because students with
special needs may be in a class of 5 or have a teacher assigned
only to her because of the severity of her disability.

The LAUSD board recently passed a resolution directing Superintendent John
Deasy to reduce class size, but
he said on a radio program that he would ignore
directive. Instead, he is buying iPads for all students and
spending more money on Common Core. Apparently the $1 billion
produced by Prop 30 will be used for Common Core, not for class
size reduction.

What do teachers and parents say? Here is a comment
by a parent who is also a teacher: My son’s sixth grade
academic classes at Hale Charter Academy (an affiliated LAUSD
charter) have 44 students in them. Yes, I said 44. In math,
English, social studies, and science. He is in the School for
Advanced Studies and the school does not turn away any qualified
SAS students. I am not arguing with their policy, because they are
doing the best they can. But that class size is RIDICULOUS! He is
not allowed to bring his backpack to classes because there is not
enough room.
I also would like to see
statistics at the individual class level, because so many factors
mask these large class sizes. For example, we have at least six
certificated teachers who are out of classroom. A Title I
coordinator, two discipline deans who are elected from the staff, a
bilingual coordinator, a college counselor, a career counselor and
now, a “Core” math coach (Common Core? I haven’t found out yet).
Though most of these people do not teach at all (I think one of
them teaches one class) they are still counted in our student to
teacher ratios, which makes class sizes look small.

Another extenuating factor is that we have small learning
communities, and that creates some smaller classes. That means
other classes have to be bigger.
We are
co-located with a great magnet program. Magnets have a “norm” of 34
to 1, while the rest of us have 42.5-1. So the magnet hired a
teacher this year, while we lost one, and our class sizes are
already huge.
Administrators have to make very
difficult decisions, but there should be an actual cap on
individual class sizes. Teachers who speak out are not popular on
campus. The governor’s budget, I believe, does away completely with
any class size mandates, leaving that to “local control.” Trust me,
that can and will be abused. Do you want YOUR kid in classes with
40-50 students, and more? None of us do.
too, would like to see some real numbers on class size. And I don’t
think we will get that from LAUSD or the UTLA. So I think there
needs to be a place where teachers can post their actual,
individual class sizes.
I had a journalism
class with 55 students last year and complained to no avail. It’s
even worse with electives…they can have 55 students, according to
my school. And they often do.