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Superintendent Terry Grier has selected 30 schools to pilot a controversial plan to keep kids in the same classes from kindergarten through second grade. The idea, called cohorts, was originally planned for all San Diego Unified schools but was trimmed after parents and principals complained that the project was being imposed on them without their input.
He also selected 30 schools — 15 of which are trying out cohorts — where class size will be reduced to 15 students for kindergarteners, first graders and second graders.
But the choices have some staffers scratching their heads. Grier had earlier said that small class sizes were most important in “heavily impacted” schools — a term generally understood to mean schools that serve a large number of low-income families. (This point was reiterated in the Union-Tribune story on this initiative.) Yet the schools selected don’t seem to map along those lines.
One of the schools slated to have cohorts — but not class size reduction — is Rosa Parks Elementary, where 99 percent of children come from low-income families, while one of the schools picked to enjoy smaller classes and try cohorts is Toler Elementary, a high-achieving school where about 60 percent of kids are considered low-income.
See the list of schools trying out cohorts and smaller class sizes here. (To help you decode that chart, KCT means cohorts and CSR means smaller classes.) You can compare it to the poverty rankings of schools here.