Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dems Pounce on Haslam's Latest Dumb Idea

Posted By on Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 11:21 AM

haslam.jpg
Even Tennessee Democrats realize this is a stupid idea. We're talking about Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to lift the cap on class sizes in public schools. Democrats think it's so potentially unpopular they're using it as fund-raising bait. From party chairman Chip Forrester, an email fishing for possible donors just landed in our inbox:

It's a move that would quickly lead to increased class sizes, and it is a major threat to student achievement.

Common sense tells you that more students in each classroom means less individualized instruction for each student. For decades, smaller class sizes have helped narrow the achievement gap and increase student learning.

In fact, the best private schools in Tennessee show off their small class sizes and brag about the personalized education they can offer due to their low student-teacher ratios.

Why isn't this philosophy good enough for public school kids?

Sign our petition calling on Governor Bill Haslam to immediately withdraw his plan to increase Tennessee classroom sizes.

Update: An email from the state education flack

Jeff,

I wanted to bring to your attention an inaccuracy in your post from today: http://www.nashvillescene.com/pitw/archives/2012/02/08/dems-pounce-on-haslams-latest-dumb-idea

In it, you say, “Even Tennessee Democrats realize this is a stupid idea. We're talking about Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to lift the cap on class sizes in public schools.”

This statement is just not true. Gov. Haslam’s bill proposes to do away with the average maximum class size. This bill is all about allowing for local flexibility and control in districts, and does not in any way mandate larger class sizes. The maximum class size would remain the same. Please make that change to your story, so that it is factually accurate.

Thanks,
Kelli

Kelli Gauthier
Communications Director
Tennessee Department of Education
(615) 532-7817

Update II: House Democratic leader Craig Fitzhugh says Haslam's proposal would end state funding for 5,300 teaching jobs.

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