FCPS Teachers

Edutopia article updated March 2, 2015 “Tools for Teaching : Managing A Large Class Size” offers tips and insight, with interesting comments and support from teachers.

Fairfax County Public Schools Workforce Compensation Survey 2014 Results 

Middle School Teachers Survey on Working Conditions  Every 2 years, FCPS surveys teachers on working conditions.  In 2012 and 2014, working condition survey responses were posted publicly. The overall results for 2014 are still available and 2012 results are no longer available.

One question asked teachers whether their class sizes were reasonable, so that they had “time to meet the educational needs of all students.”  They could “strongly disagree,” “disagree,” “agree” or “strongly agree.”   Survey responses demonstrate that the FCPS needs-based general education staffing formulas for elementary, middle and high schools have gone too far.

This posting summarizes the results of the middle school teacher survey responses.   Responses were compiled for 2014 and 2012 for all middle schools other than the few that are part of secondary schools, where 2/3 of the teachers are high school teachers.  The magisterial districts are shown where the students of each middle school reside, starting with the district where the most students reside.

 County-wide, 33% of middle school teachers disagreed with the statement that their class sizes were reasonable.  However, there was a wide range, and the results are revealing. See the attachment for the results for all middle  schools here.
Middle schools with the highest percentages of teachers who said their class sizes were too large generally had fewer low-income students, and therefore the largest average class sizes.
  • Carson (primarily Hunter Mill + Sully, a little Dranesville + Providence),
  • Cooper (Dranesville + a little Hunter Mill),
  • Hughes in 2012 only (Hunter Mill + a little Dranesville),
  • Kilmer (Providence + some Dranesville and Hunter Mill),
  • Longfellow  (Dranesville, with some Providence, and a tiny group from Hunter Mill and Mason),
  • Rocky Run in 2014 only (Sully + some Springfield and a little Braddock),
  • Sandburg in 2014 only (Mt. Vernon + some Lee),
  • Stone (100% Sully)
Conversely, middle schools with the lowest percentage of teachers unhappy about their class sizes generally had more low-income students, and therefore the smallest average class sizes.
  • Frost in 2012 only (Braddock + a little Providence, Mason and Springfield),
  • Herndon (Dranesville + a little Hunter Mill),
  • Holmes (Mason + a little Braddock),
  • Irving (Springfield + some Braddock),
  • Key (Lee + Mt. Vernon, Braddock and Springfield),
  • Poe (Mason + Braddock),
  • Whitman in 2014 only (Mt. Vernon + Lee).
Some schools don’t conform to this generalization, especially Frost MS and Sandburg MS. That is probably due to the following factors:
  • principal decisions to create classes that are much smaller and much larger than the school average
  • central staff decisions to give that school extra teacher positions from the county-wide staffing reserve
  • principal decisions to “trade” allocated positions to get more or fewer classroom teachers, and/or
  • principal decisions to minimize or dump administrative busywork on the teachers at a school.

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