Bagels, eggs, pancakes and orange juice seems to be the correct food to eat at 10 A.M. It’s breakfast time right? Not so much the case at Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers, in Lower Manhattan. At 10 A.M it is the beginning of the lunch time periods.
Due to overcrowding and the fiscal budget crisis students all around New York City are experiencing earlier lunch times, tighter classroom seating arrangements, less personalized instruction, and higher building student to teacher ratios.
According to the United Federation of Teachers’ survey released on Thursday, September 22, 2011, New York City Public School classrooms are overcrowded. Classroom size is at its highest in 10 years. The survey notes that nearly 7,000 classrooms are over their contractual limits. The contractual limit for Kindergarten classroom is 25 students; for grades one to six the limit is 32; for middle schools it is 33; and for high schools it is 34.The overcrowding in New York City Public School is said to stem from attrition, budget cuts and increased enrollment.
All across the New York City district the education system is feeling the increase. Most notable are High Schools in Queens. About 2,600 classrooms are overcrowded, with more than 34 students in each room. Some schools have imposed class schedules based on shifts to deal with lack of teachers and limited classroom space.
The teachers at Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers, use the method of shifting a handful of students into Advanced Placement classes, whether or not they wanted to take them, to deal with overcrowding classrooms. This is a very unique solution. However, overcrowded classrooms are likely to lead to problematic instruction, less educational resources to share amongst pupils, and an uncomfortable education environment.
With the growing increase for school accountability and better test scores, it seems truly hard to achieve these goals with more students in a classroom than the number of players on two NBA teams. If organized sports can not operate with more than 30 players on a roster, how can New York Public Schools operate with more than 30 pupils in a classroom? It begs the question are our students of New York City receiving appropriate education as the law affords to them?