Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Alberta Education's misleading class size averages

Alberta Education quietly updated their class size average data for the 2014-2015 school year.

In my school district, Alberta Education reports that there should be 24.1 students in my grade 6 classes, and 25.2 students in my grade 8 classes.

Because I live in the real world, I feel compelled to share with you that these average class sizes do not accurately reflect my students' reality.

I teach two grade 6 classes language arts and social studies. I also teach two grade 8 classes social studies.

I have 32 students in every single one of my classes.

Both of my grade 6 classes have 7.9 more students than Alberta Education reports.

Both of my grade 8 classes have 6.8 more students than Alberta Education reports.

I teach 29.4 more students every single day than Alberta Education reports. To be clear, that's more students than what Alberta Education reports are in any one of my classes.

Real accountability is about providing the public with the information they need about their public schools. Public assurance is about transparency, but there is nothing transparent about these average class sizes reported by Alberta Education. This Alberta Education class size report conceals more than it reveals. I wonder who benefits from this misleading information?

Class size and class composition matter because they have a huge affect on students' learning conditions and teachers' working conditions.

In 2013, the PCs cut 14.5 million from School Boards, but 11,000 new students enrolled. Today, a 9% cut is projected which could cut 2,500 teachers while 19,000 new students enrol.

Since 2008, Alberta's K-12 student population has grown by more than 70,000 students.

Unstable and inadequate government funding has meant that the number of teachers has not kept up with the surge in student numbers.

A five percent cut in funding next year could mean the loss of an additional 2,500 teaching positions at a time when another 19,000 students are likely to be added.

Check out this telling infographic that asks: Who Will Teach Us?


  1. So with class sizes increasing we could see up to 28 to 30 kids in kg , grades one to six. How will one teacher teach all these students?

  2. When I first started teaching in Florida in 2001 I taught classes of 32-34 7th graders and it was nigh-impossible to accomplish any real learning with them. Large class sizes are anathema to real learning.


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