News Story

Detroit Class Size Figures Skewed Upward By Gym And Team Sports

School district’s average class size is 26.73; 1,502 classes have fewer than 10 students

As one of the top officials in the Detroit Federation of Teachers, Terrence Martin has been outspoken in his claims of large class sizes within the Detroit Public Schools Community District.

The union official wrote a recent Detroit News commentary making his case, and he also was quoted in a news story about what he described as Detroit’s problematic class sizes.

“In Detroit, Martin said class sizes currently range from a low of 15 students up to the 40s and 50s in elementary schools. Surveys are being sent to teachers this month to allow the union to compile data reports, he said,” The Detroit News reported.

But only 340 classes (or 4 percent of all 8,701 classrooms) in Detroit’s conventional school district have 40 or more students in them. That’s according to data the state’s largest school district released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

The average classroom size for Detroit Public Schools was 26.73 students, a figure that doesn’t include any class with fewer than 10 students. The district has 1,502 classes with fewer than 10 students.

The largest class in the Detroit system had 107 students, and it was a team sports class. The second-largest class, with 88 students, was also a team sports class, as was the third-largest class with 81 students.

The vast majority of the classes with 40 or more students were physical education or team sports classes. The largest academic class was a humanities class with 59 students at Western International High School.

Martin didn’t return an email seeking comment.