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Descriptive Ratio

Today we had our California Standardized Test training. We need to watch a half hour of videos on how to hand out tests and not cheat.

One of the things we got is our class distribution – number of students each of us was responsible for, along with some other data, including Special Ed or English Proficiency Status.

Included in that status is also something called EC. That stands for “Education Code Violators”. It’s short hand for known discipline problems. Browsing down the columns, most of the classes have zeros, ones, or twos. Some have 3 or 4. There are a couple that have 10 or more – those are PE classes, total size over 40. For testing, they’ll get additional teachers to manage them.

My classes are small. For testing, I’m going to have 15 kids. I’ve felt a bit guilty about that.

The number in my EC column?


All of a sudden, my management issues throughout the year make more sense. Other classes have EC/total ratios of about 10%. The PE classes are closer to 25%. Mine, and a couple of others, are at the 50% mark.

I’m not sure how to feel about this. The initial reaction is one of relief, that I get to use this as an excuse. Immediately after that is the no excuses voice: This is something that I still need to be able to deal with. After that, frustration with administration for not making this information available before the beginning of the year, when I’m trying to figure out how to manage my classes. The greatest, i think, is annoyance at some of my fellow teachers who don’t have nearly the same ratios and who still have kids going wild in the classroom, and aren’t providing them with the education they deserve. And finally, as an afterthought, I’ve got some appreciation for PE teachers who, even though they get to deal in a completely different modality than the rest of us, have to deal with management issues the rest of us could never imagine.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Prof. Seeman | May 8, 2008 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    You make some good points above.
    However, I also think that this can be helpful to you:
    Go to:

    If you get this book and video: PREVENTING Classroom Discipline Problems, [they are in many libraries, so you don’t have to buy them] email me and I can refer you to the sections of the book and the video [that demonstrates the effective vs. the ineffective teacher] that can help you.

    [I also teach an online course on these issues that may be helpful to you at: ]

    If you cannot get the book or video, email me and I will try to help.
    Best regards,


    Howard Seeman, Ph.D.
    Professor Emeritus,
    City Univ. of New York