Do smaller schools in NYC have smaller classes? I took at look at the numbers for 9th grade English general education classes. Here's what I found:
- Smaller schools, on average, have smaller classes. Students attending small schools in NYC (those with fewer than 500 students) attend schools with an average class size of 23.8. For schools with 500-2000 students, the average is 25.6; and for schools with more than 2000 students, the average is 28.0.
- These averages conceal the fact that a much higher proportion of small schools have very small classes. 24% of small schools have average classes of 20 or fewer, while 7% of medium sized schools and 2% of large schools do.
- Only 5% of small schools have average class sizes of 30 or more, while 10% of medium sized schools do and 27% of large schools do.
To anecdotally make points 2 and 3 above, International High School in the Bronx has an average class size of 12.2, while Francis Lewis High School in Queens has an average class size of 32.8. What a difference 20 kids makes.
What's also interesting is that there are small schools that have very large class sizes - for example, the two largest 9th grade class sizes are at relatively new small schools (East Bronx Academy for the Future, 34; Brooklyn Generation School, 38.5). Why? One hypothesis is that some small schools have been able to find ways to turn away (or to not be sent) over the counter students, while others have not. Perhaps some schools have been successful in raising additional funds to reduce class size. Other ideas are welcome here.
The last two days have only provided a cursory look at these data, and there's a lot more that could be done. If you have suggestions, please let me know.
Update: At Edwize, Leo Casey weighs in on the school size/class size relationship.