Manchester High School Class Sizes

They provide surprising information

MANCHESTER, NH  March 7, 2013 3:00 PM–Girard at Large has obtained a detailed list of the class sizes at each of the city’s three high schools.  Because of our inquires, the Manchester School District created a customized report that not only shows how many kids are in a class room at any given time, it shows the class load of each teacher, identifying the courses they teach and the number of kids in each class and course.

As is their habit, school district officials sent the information it provided to Girard at Large to each member of the school board.  Girard at Large has spoken with several school board members who’ve said they’d not received information in this format before and found it very helpful.

The ongoing tuition contract controversy with Hooksett prompted the request.  Where Central High has been the focus of overcrowded class complaints, we analyzed the numbers there first.  What we found was, once we backed out classes where having more than 30 kids was either irrelevant or beneficial, think study halls, gym, band, orchestra, chorus, etc…, there were only 33 classes with more than 30 kids, none having more than 33.

We also looked at the number of classes that had fewer than 2o.  Once we backed out specialty classes, such as “credit recovery,” “Resource Services,” English Language Learner, or Special Education, we discovered 149 classes with fewer than 20 kids.

In other words, for every class with more than 30 kids, there are nearly 5 classes with fewer than 20 kids.

While Girard at Large has not performed a detailed analysis of the class sizes at Memorial and West, a cursory review indicates that there’s little reason to believe radically different percentages of classes above 30 and below 20 students exists.

Also of interest was the clearly disparate class loads taught by individual teachers.  Isn’t it interesting that teachers who teach 53 students get paid the same as teachers who teach 150, whether in the same or different subjects?  If this doesn’t start people asking whether or not it makes sense for teachers to be paid by years teaching and degrees obtained, versus the need for teachers in a particular subject, class load, or student results, nothing will.

The raw numbers for all three school are in the report below.

msd class size semester 2 2012 2013 teacher load.pd