Michael Bloomberg in MIT Speech: Cut Teachers by Half, Large Classes OK

Courtney Williams's picture
Monday, December 5, 2011

In remarks Thursday that have since sparked some controversy, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg tackled school improvement -- through a suggestion to halve the teaching force. 

"If I had the ability to just design the system and say 'ex cathedra this is what we're going to do,' you would cut the number of teachers in half and weed out all the bad ones," Bloomberg said while speaking at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according to CBS New York. "And double the class size with a better teacher is a good deal for the students."

The mayor also told the audience that in districts across the country, teachers are no longer hired from the top of their classes and instead, are culled from "the bottom 20 percent and not of the best schools," DNAinfo.com reports.

At a news conference later Thursday, Bloomberg emphasized a focus on teacher quality, saying that while he would prefer smaller classes with more effective teachers, he's "in favor of" putting highly effective teachers in front of larger classes if finances are limited.

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