On October 27, the New York City Council Committee on Education held a hearing on a bill to reduce class size. The chairman of the committee is Mark Treyger, a former teacher. The city’s Department of Education opposes the bill, based on the strain on facilities (there is never a problem finding space for a new charter school).

I testified in favor of class size reduction, along with Regent Kathy Cashin (a former teacher, principal, and superintendent), as well as a number of parent advocates and Leonie Haimson, CEO of Class Size Matters.

Here is my statement, tailored to fit a 2-minute time limit.

I should have added this additional point.

Some people have said to me, “When I was in school, we had 40 or 50 kids in a class. Why do kids today need classes any smaller.?”

Answer: In those old days, schools operated on the principle of sink or swim. Those who couldn’t keep up either flunked or dropped out. Now we expect all students to finish high school. That can’t happen if class sizes are so large that children who struggle are overlooked.”