Firm Schools vs. Public Schools: School and Class Size

by NYC Firm Schools on January 8, 2009

NYC Firm Schools differ from public schools in a number of ways, one of the most obvious being school size and classroom size. In fact, the immense size of New York City has led to the overcrowding of her schools, and therefore contributed directly to the demand for a private school education where school and class size can be closely regulated.

Public School Vs. Private: School Size
According to the US Department of Education, public schools are generally at least twice the size of Firm Schools. Since school size correlates to the population density of the local area, NYC public schools are even more crowded than most.

For NYC Firm Schools, the density of the population as a whole leads to a demand for an increasingly larger number of Firm Schools as they try to accommodate a larger number of children as a whole, but not on a per school basis. In other words, there is a higher density of Firm Schools, but since they accept fewer children, it also corresponds to a fiercely competitive market for spots in those schools.

Public School Vs. Private: Class Size
As assumed, the average class size in public schools is much larger than class size in Firm Schools. Most educators recognize the value that small classes and a lower student to teacher ration have on the individual learning progression of young students, and as such, even public schools try to keep class sizes down in the early years like K through 3. As students grow older, however, public schools tend to increase dramatically in the student to teacher ration, forcing children to learn on their own more and more, and allowing children to fail at a higher rate, unseen.
On average, public schools have an average of 24 students per class and, when counting para-educators and class aids, an average of over 18 students per teacher.

For comparison, Firm Schools average 13 students per teacher, with over 35% of Firm Schools having a student/teacher ratio lower than 10 to 1.

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