Class size troubles

The Florida class size amendment is causing problems again. Luckily, state schools chief John Winn is showing some useful flexibility in applying its regulations. Approximately 154,000 children are expected to enroll in Florida's new pre-kindergarten program, but the requirements of the class size amendment are causing a shortage in classroom space. While pre-K providers were required to certify that they could meet the class size stipulation all the way through the 2010-11 school year, Winn will allow any provider that currently meets the requirements to enroll in the program. But as predicted, the lofty intentions of this amendment are colliding with reality, forcing administrators to devote needed resources to meeting its requirements, which strains physical plants and degrades the quality of the teaching pool by forcing the hiring of less-effective teachers. Past attempts to repeal the amendment have failed (see http://www.edexcellence.net/gadfly/issue.cfm?issue=112#1407). Florida voters will eventually have to face the realities of the tradeoff they've embraced: quantity or quality?

"Education chief eases pre-K requirement," by Diane Hirth, Democrat Capitol Bureau, April 13, 2005