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The [Wednesday] Papers

"Mayor Rahm Emanuel's push to close dozens of schools hinges on a vision of the 'ideal' size for kindergarten through eighth-grade classes as 30 students, far larger than is the case now in the typical Chicago classroom," the Tribune reports.

Rahm Emanuel wants to make CPS class sizes larger.

"Setting a benchmark higher than what records indicate is reality across Chicago - and far higher than in many suburbs - indicates to some that Emanuel is willing to buck the popular notion that smaller classes produce better students who get more individual attention."

I wonder if he's trying to buck that notion at the University of Chicago Lab Schools where he sends his kids. (Classroom size of 23 in grades 1 through 4 - plus assistant teachers to help with the load.) He's probably blowing up the phones of Lab administrators as we speak, haranguing them about wasting resources.

"Pegging calculations to a 30-student class allows the mayor and school officials to drive the public debate with attention-grabbing statistics. It has enabled the Emanuel administration to declare nearly half of all elementary and high schools underused, leaving 100,000 desks empty."

What an interesting lesson.

"On the other side of the ledger, however, are numbers that raise questions about the district's calculations."

Aren't there always?

"Becky Carroll, a CPS spokeswoman, argued that big classes don't necessarily hamper learning.

"It's the quality of teaching in that classroom," Carroll said. "You could have a teacher that is high-quality that could take 40 kids in a class and help them succeed."

Why not 45 kids? 50? Just get an even higher quality teacher!


Average class size at New Trier High School: 22.4.


It's true, as the story says, that a Brookings study found no correlation between class size and student outcomes. It's also true that no one believes that study except those who find it politically convenient to wield.

Northwestern's Jeanne Marie Olson, who is quoted in the story, explains in the Tribune's comments section:

Thank you for the great article and the mention. I have to point out that the Center for Public Education did a similar review of the research and ended up with different conclusions than the Brookings study did. You can find the research review entitled "Class-size-and-student-achievement-Research-review."

It is easier to see how class size will affect the ability of a teacher to focus on a student if you just look at the logistics of time management. If we allow for each student in a class of 40 students to only speak for 10 minutes a day to their teacher...just 10 minutes each? The teacher would be able to talk for 20 minutes while the kids ate their lunches. None of us, not even Ms Carroll, could remain engaged and motivated while having to remain silent and unheard for 400 minutes a day. In Ms Carroll's class of 40 students, even the most amazing teacher cannot bend time.

I don't know if Carroll has kids, but if she does, I wonder how she would feel if she was told they were being moved from a classroom of, say, 22.4 to 30. Better?




We don't need a moratorium on school closings, we need a moratorium on bullshit. To wit:

* There Was A Hidden Drawer.


* Rahm's Fake Jobs

* Rahm's Unbearable Whiteness Of Being

* Rahm's Pants Still Aflame

* The Moneyball Mayor's Credibility Gap

* Emanuel's Charter Stats Don't Add Up

* Emanuel Errs On Charter Performance

* Rahm Caught Lying About Speed Cameras

* The Mayor, The Lobbyist And The 6-Year-Old Girl

* Liar's Poker: Rahm's Minor Concessions Leave Gaping Holes In Our Civil Liberties

* Rahm's Fake Transparency

* Rahm The Master Media Manipulator


See also:

* Oh, Becky

* CPS's Bizarre Communication Triangle



From the Beachwood vault:

"Chief CPS Communications Officer Becky Carroll is in line for a base of $165,000 - up from her predecessor's $130,383 and higher than the base salary of mayoral communications chief Christine Mather, who is taking home $162,492."

Well, that makes sense. Carroll is expected to do two percent more lying than Mather.

Communicable Disease
Maybe Ceasefire can send interruptors to city offices to stop the spread of lies. Here's another one I'm just catching up with:

Remember that press conference when Rahm scolded a Tribune reporter for asking if CTA fare increases would disproportionately hurt the poor? (See the item Mayor Rahmney.) If only the reporter would have attended Forrest Claypool's briefing, he wouldn't be asking such a stupid question.

Well, guess what?


Then again, Rahm reserves the right to deny he ever said whatever it is we've all seen him say.


Political Odds

Shooting, Bullying & Spitballing
In Local Book Notes.

Jimmy Orrville, Boy Detective
In Random Food Report.

Kabul vs. Wall Street
In today's installment of QT.

Sleepy City
Fantasy Fix: Top 20 Second Basemen.


The Beachwood Tip Line: Size matters.


Posted on March 6, 2013

MUSIC - Madonna vs. Moderna.
TV - Sundays With The Military-Industrial Complex.
POLITICS - Private Equity In The ER.
SPORTS - Suspicious Betting Trends In Soccer.

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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