Class sizes have risen for a fifth straight year across the school system, a new Department of Education report  shows.
Overall, the increase was 1.6 percent, or an average four tenths of a student per class. High schools had the largest gain.
The department put the report out at the end of the day Friday, Dec. 15 — the same day as the Newtown, CT shootings — assuring it would get virtually no coverage.
But the facts are disturbing. Class sizes have been rising steadily in virtually every grade since the 2007-08 school year, with elementary grades hit particularly hard. The average 1st grade class has 3.7 more students now than it did in 2007, and the average 3rd grade has 4.2 more children. Class sizes are a central concern for parents and teachers, while the mayor has said they could double  as far as he was concerned.
In response to a recent UFT survey, 56 percent of teachers said their class sizes were so large that it interfered with their ability to reach all their students.