Cap Class Sizes for Portage Public Elementary Schools

Cap Class Sizes for Portage Public Elementary Schools

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Concerned Amberly Parents started this petition to Portage Public Schools Board of Education

Over the past several years we have witnessed increasing classroom sizes in several of our elementary schools.  In order for all of our learners to get the most out of their education - we are asking that the Portage Public Board of Education institute a class size cap for our youngest learners in our Kindergarten through 2nd grade sections.  At this time, we are asking that this cap be set at 18 students for Kindergarten and 21 students in 1st and 2nd grades.

Amberly Elementary, as one example, currently houses four sections of each Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade classes.  Class sizes range from 24-27 students per Michael Pascoe, Assistant Superintendent, as of January 28, 2020.  Class sizes have continued to grow since his statement.   Along with the rise in class sizes over the past four years, there has been a steady decline in test scores. Per www.MIschooldata.org, Amberly's Progress Summary was 61% for the 2016-2017 school year and has dropped to 44% for the 2018-2019 school year, a sharp 17% decline. Progress Summary is defined as, "percent of students who are making progress towards proficiency or increasing their proficiency in all subjects on the state tests."  The Overall Performance score is also trending negatively, dropping from 56% of students testing as proficient in all subjects via state tests in the 2016-2017 school year to 51% in 2018-2019.    

As parents, grandparents, caregivers, neighbors, and community members, we implore the Board of Education and Portage Public Schools administrative staff to work with us to lower class sizes.

Additional resources:

Research has shown that reducing class size is one of only four evidenced-based reforms proven to work to improve outcomes for all students as well as narrowing the achievement gap,  yielding a host of cognitive and non-cognitive benefits. (https://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/rigorousevid/rigorousevid.pdf

Research shows  that lower class sizes reduce teacher turn over. (https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2010/CES-WP-10-05.pdf

Common myths of reducing class sizes: https://www.classsizematters.org/fact-sheets-on-the-benefits-of-class-size/7-myths-of-class-size-reduction/

The National Education Association on class size:

http//www.nea.org/assets/docs/PB08_ClassSize08.pdf

Visit our website to find out more information:

www.concernedamberlyparents.org

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