2015-09-17 / Opinion

Math Adds Up to Bad Policy

To the Editor:

I attended the Newport School Committee meeting Tuesday, Sept. 8. I listened closely as teachers and parents spoke passionately about the current student overages in many classrooms throughout the school district.

One third-grade teacher, Jennifer Hole, pointed out that all thirdgrade classrooms at Pell Elementary School are presently at student capacity and that three are actually over capacity (with more thirdgrade students enrolling). When Ms. Hole said that there was an empty classroom near the current third grade classrooms, one School Committee member quickly responded, “Well it won't be empty for long!” Other School Committee members nodded in agreement (please check the video). It appears there’s some support on the Newport School Committee for following best classroom practice as outlined in the Feb. 14, 2014 Washington Post blog post, "Class Size Matters a Lot, Research Shows,” by Valerie Strauss.

Many people say sheepishly, “I’m really not that good at math.” Here’s some simple math that’s related to our beloved New England Patriots:

Super Bowl victories 3 + 1 = 4 Super Bowl victories

Tom Brady, 1; NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, 0

Classrooms at capacity + additional students = bad educational policy.

David Koutsogiane

Newport

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