At lunch on the last day, however, I discovered that Florida is a “right to work” state, and that their local union is rather weak, so they each have six classes of 30 or more students (180 students). One teacher is being asked to teach seven classes this year, with 30 or more students in each (210).
After absorbing the fact of this shameful and irresponsible number of assigned students, I realized that if these teachers were to ask for the 20-page history research paper which is typical of the ones I publish in The Concord Review, they would have 3,600 pages to read, correct, and comment on when they were turned in, not to mention the extra hours guiding students through their research and writing efforts. The one teacher with 210 students would have 4,200 pages of papers presented to him at the end of term
You know what would solve this problem? Mayoral control.
This scenario is certainly not unique and likely coming to a school near you (to one degree or another).
One component of the issue is that the collective "we" want more from education than what "we" are willing to pay for. It is obviously becoming a bigger issue with the economy, but to some extent, education has grown tremendously in breadth of services and offerings, with little additional resources to match.
...and a second observation (without judgment) is that 210 high school students is an untenable number, but 12 months later they might be in one class with 150 of their closest personal friends in some university. We rarely even question that scenario (and I do know that we are talking about different populations, I'm just saying it seems really odd).
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