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[Susan notes: ]

Published in New York Times

To the editor

The student load of 135 was the

reason I left high school English teaching eons

ago. It is simply impossible to do the job as it

should be done.

Re “Smaller-Is-Better Theory of Class Size Faces

New Test in a Time of Pinched Budgets” (news

article, Feb. 22):

Class size does matter. Teachers today routinely

work a seven-hour day. Then, like the garment

workers of yesteryear, they must take home hours

of additional work.

Besides writing detailed lessons, teaching,

tutoring and attending professional meetings,

teachers are expected to give and grade class

work and homework daily, keep individual

statistics, write progress reports, fill out

report cards and be in contact with parents.

For teachers in New York City, this often means a

60- to 80-hour week. But with fewer students,

teachers can not only focus more on individual

students, but even occasionally spend time with

their own families.

Last year, I had 160 students. Spending only

three minutes per student per day on paperwork

equals 40 hours per week. Added to actual

teaching, this can mean an 80-hour week for city

teachers. Large classes and better teachers are

not sustainable.

The writer was a high school history


Anne Lipke

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