Sunday, February 20, 2011

Question from reader

Please explain where you get your data that this is the student:teacher ratio. My kids have never been in a class that small in Olentangy through elementary, MS or HS, though I am sure the occasional AP class is that low, or perhaps a special education class. Are you factoring in special education ratios, which must be lower to meet kids' needs? Or are you strictly looking at regular ed. classrooms. I would like to see where that data is coming from and make sure it isn't "spin" that makes those ratios seem so low. In fact, it seems that classes are going the opposite way over the last few years rather getting smaller, but that is just based on my own kids' classes.

Again, if you could please show where you get your info from, I would appreciate it.

First, and most important, I get my information from either the district website, ODE, or other such source.

To your point, student/teacher ratio is detailed in the district's Five-Year Financial Forecast, found under the treasurer's page on the district website (also available on the ODE site).

Second, please do not confuse class size with student/teacher ratio. They are different. But they are connected.

Think of it this way: a school has 100 students and 10 teachers. The student/teacher ration is 10-t0-1. But if the teacher is in a classroom only 1/2 of the periods in a day, the average class size would be 20-to-1.

Take some time to read the current negotiated agreement (found on the district website) and see the restrictions on the number of classes a teacher CAN teach. Then ask the district treasurer for a list of the number of classes each teacher actually teaches per day.

In essence, this new levy is about paying teachers to NOT teach.

Thanks for the question.

1 comment:

ROC said...

Sue Mahler, fmr. OLSD Finance Comm. chair, gave a report in 2010 before she left the district that if OLSD even got to a 15:1 ratio, millions would be saved! OLSD has not gotten there and is actually going backward. A 16:1 ratio is very doable without affecting classroom instruction and think of the extra millions that would be saved! You are correct- teacher to student ratios include music teachers, gym teachers, and other subject only teachers, etc... into the mix, which is fair when analyzing staffing.