Sunday, August 26, 2007
Teacher Student Ratios
On Monday, August 27, 2007, an article in the Marianas Variety mentioned that PSS has the highest teacher student ratio in the country. The official ratio is 24:1. I would like to know how PSS came up with that ratio. They must be counting counselors, librarians, cooks, custodians, office staff and administrators as teachers to get numbers so low and completely off the mark. The smallest class ratio I've had in 3 years is 28:1. I have colleagues in the 7th grade with 32 students per class (for science !!!) and some high school teachers have 32 to 35 students per class. Lets be honest about the ratios and maybe the legislature and the community might start to notice how much PSS needs financial help. Hopwood had to do without 6 teachers this year and our librarian is in a classroom. Ironically, PSS earmarked several hundred thousand dollars of grant funds for literacy at the middle schools this year. That money is targeted for the libraries. What good is having a library when you don't have enough staffing to run it properly. Our Library Aide is very capable and good at her job, but she can not effectively serve 1,200 patrons all by herself. I teach science at Hopwood and my room was built for 24 or less students. I asked to cut the long, built in tables this summer to accomodate larger class sizes and was turned down by the Capital Improvement folks at central. Seems they know best how to manage an overcrowded science lab full of high energy, hormonal teenagers. I have 6 students per group because of the table configuration and ideally, each group should only have 4 students. Mondayitis has reached epidemic proportions!!! Last week 8 teachers were absent and none on Tuesday. Today 6 were out, and I'll wager a can of 'teacher tea' that tomorrow we'll have 0-1 people out. I lost my prep today. I had to teach language arts and the teacher didn't leave a lesson plan. Absof#cking Fabulous!!!