Back in May, John Mason did a feature article in the Register-Star about class size in Columbia County school districts: "Class sizes on the mind." In it he reported that, from 2007 to 2010, average class sizes in the Hudson City School District stayed at 18 to 19 in the primary school, 22 or 23 in the intermediate school, and between 15 and 24 in the high school.
Recently Gossips received some statistics about the number of students, teachers, and aides in the Hudson City School District from 1996 to 2011. In 1996, there were 2,513 students in the district, 185 teachers, and 56 aides. That's one teacher for every 13.6 students and one aide for every 44.9 students. In 2011, there were 1,921 students in the district, 185 teachers, and 71 aides. That's one teacher for every 10.4 students and one aide for every 27 students.
A few questions arise. Why, if the number of students decreased by 24 percent, did the number of teachers remain unchanged and the number of aides increase by 21 percent? And why, if the ratio of students to teachers is something like 10 to 1, is the average class size something like 20? Are 50 percent of the district teachers not working in classrooms but involved instead in some kind of special "pull-out" or "push-in" instruction? 'Tis a puzzlement.