>>I'd like to start an offshoot of this discussion. Mike, commenting on Dan Hart's situation (Los Angeles city school), noted a possible lack of admistrative support.
Most of the teachers I know in California have an average class size of about 36.>>
Thanks for your response. As well as Mike's which was informative and interesting. Interestingly, we've had good administrative support at my school. It's actually pretty risky to buck the Standards et al. It's much preferable to do something radical and unproven like IMP, watch all quantitative measures go to hell, but at least you're doing the right thing.
And, BTW, I agree with Mike about changing 20% of your teaching each year. That doesn't mean you can't continue with a textbook of your choice.
On class size here are my classes and their size
Per 1 Alg 1A 40 students Per 2 Alg 2A 38 " Per 3 AP Calc. 29 " Per 5 Alg 1A 41 " Per 6 Alg 1A 33 "
Per 6 will probably get larger. And these class sizes are actually better than in the recent past. Frankly, I can stand the large classes, because of cooperative learning. But what is particularly difficult are large classes combined with poor attendance. On any one day three/fourths of an Alg 1 class will attend. And the absentees rotate. Imagine doing any project that lasts past one classroom period with this type of environment.
Just another reason we need real standards backed up by real tests. We just can't continue on this way.