The Elusive Metric of Class Size

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As meaningful as it is to parents, class-size data is not collected by the state Department of Education.

Some agencies collect and report a measure similar to class size: student to teacher ratio. But because the measure can include different types of educators like physical education, music and art teachers, as well as principals who also teach, it is smaller than actual class sizes.

Statewide, the student to teacher ratio was 18 to 1 in 2015-16, according to the state Office of Educational Quality and Accountability. That was one of the highest student/teacher ratios in the past 25 years. The office excluded special education teachers and teachers at alternative education centers for its analysis.

Nationally, the average student to teacher ratio is about 16 to 1 in public schools, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. But that ratio does include teachers for students with disabilities and other special teachers, which are generally excluded from class-size calculations.