This came in from Dan Wever:
Why does the EPISD want to go to the K-8 grade format for elementary schools?
I will tell you!
When asked this question one must first understand why they changed from their K-6 elementary, 7th, 8th, and 9th Junior High Schools and 10th, 11th, and 12th grade High Schools programs.
Well the big ol bad State came along and said that the classrooms in K-4th grade would be limited to 22 students to 1 teacher. It had been proven that smaller class sizes in the early grades improved everything that was measurable in education all over the United States.
The EPISD at this time had a K-6 grade elementary and a Junior High setup of 7th 8th and 9th grades and then High School 10th, 11th and 12th. Well, the State edict of 22-1 student to teacher ratio, meant that there were not enough classrooms in the elementary schools. So what happened over a couple of years was the 6th grades were moved out of the elementary schools and joined with the Junior High 7th and 8th grades and the 9th grade went back to the High Schools. This is how the EPISD ended up with the setup we have today.
So what is the answer to the original question? Well have you heard of the District of Innovation mantel that the EPISD has elected to wear? Yep, you guessed it the district is no longer bound by the State 22-1 rule. Of course they say they will try to keep it the same ratio but looking at other school district’s explanation of why the killing of the 22-1 rule will not be so bad.
“Proposed: While we believe that in certain circumstances small class size plays a positive role in the classroom, in many cases master teachers, who are highly trained in student engagement strategies, are equally effective with larger class size environments. Often it is not the number of students but the classroom environment that influences student learning outcomes. We will attempt to keep all the core K-4 classrooms to a 22:1 ratio. However, in the event the class size exceeds this ratio, the superintendent will report to the Board of Trustees. b. A TEA waiver will not be necessary when a K-4 classroom exceeds the 22:1 ratio. c. This will give our district the flexibility without having the bureaucracy of waivers within TEA.”
Here is another:
“Why is the district seeking local control over the class size ratio? Local control over the class size ratio will enable the district to minimize disruption at the beginning of the year due to class size. Furthermore, the district will also eliminate time utilized to complete and submit annual waivers on class size ratios, thus increasing the time spent on campus related operations.”
These two examples show what is planned for their districts and the same will be in line for ours because that is the way money can be saved by crowding more little kids into smaller classrooms with a total disregard for the real educational studies that tell them this is bad or not as good as the smaller class size. But then again this bond issue is not about the students or they would not be wanting to turn over 4000 children away from their neighborhood schools to accomplish their K-8 goal at a cost of over $185,000,000.