At El Camino Real Academy, there are five sections of bilingual kindergarten classes, each with between 15 and 17 students. The district will be reassigning one teacher and redistributing the students among the four remaining classes. Larger classes will force teachers to spend more energy in maintaining order and less on giving instruction. Despite platitudes to improving education, larger classes will certainly have the effect of lowering educational outcomes, and at the critical stage of kindergarten, the effect of this decision by the district will likely follow these students for years to come.
In a school system such as ours, cutting back in kindergarten will cause student underperformance. When we know that low test scores tell us more about poverty than student ability, choosing to crowd classrooms is a step toward denying the promise of education as a means to social mobility. Sky Tallman