Survey: Smaller Classes Top Priority for NYC SchoolsContact: Michael Larkin
New York—A post-Election Day survey of New York City parents, teachers, administrators, policy-makers, social activists and elected officials revealed a lack of support for Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s educational reform agenda. The results of the online survey were released by the National Center for Schools and Communities (NCSC) at Fordham University in late 2005.
The survey showed that 40 percent of the 501 respondents ranked “reduced class sizes” as the top priority for the city’s schools, while only 2 percent identified the mayor’s agenda of mayoral control, small schools, standardized testing, grade retention and uniform literacy and math programs. Furthermore, 63 percent of the respondents ranked “reduced class sizes” among the top three priorities from a list of 13 issues.
“Despite the mayor’s victory on Election Day, only 11 of the 501 respondents identified his agenda as the number one priority,” said John Beam, director of the National Center for Schools and Communities.
Other issues identified as major priorities in the survey, which was distributed via email to respondents, was the hiring of highly qualified teachers and the reduction of overcrowding in schools. The two issues ranked among the top three priorities for the mayor and chancellor by 44.9 percent and 38.7 percent of the respondents, respectively.
Among respondents, the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) was a high priority. Thirty-eight percent of those surveyed indicated that CFE accountability was one of their top three priorities. With regard to CFE funding, the figure was 31 percent. A PDF file is available on the NCSC Website.
The National Center for Schools and Communities at Fordham University provides data and policy analysis and evaluation services to support community-led school reform efforts and high quality, school-based child and youth development programming. Established in 1992, the NCSC is a joint project of the Graduate School of Social Service and the Graduate School of Education. An early proponent of community schools that co-locate a robust array of social services and youth development activities within public school facilities, the NCSC was a co-founder of the national Coalition of Community Schools.
Founded in 1841, Fordham is the Jesuit University of New York, offering exceptional education distinguished by the Jesuit tradition to approximately 15,800 students in its five undergraduate colleges and its six graduate and professional schools. It has residential campuses in the Bronx, Manhattan and Tarrytown, and the Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station in Armonk, N.Y.