Alberta teachers use Grey Cup celebration to punt oversized classes

The Alberta Teachers Association is using a fabled moment in Grey Cup history to drive home a point about oversized classrooms.

'Any Saskatchewan Roughrider fan can tell you that fielding too many men could cost you the Grey Cup'

The Alberta Teacher Association says 12 core classes in schools in the province had more than 44 students during the 2017/2018 school year.

The Alberta Teachers Association is using a fabled moment in Grey Cup history to drive home a point about oversized classrooms.

In a release Thursday, the ATA says there were 12 core classes in schools in the province that contained more than 44 students. The Alberta government confirmed the numbers.

The association notes that the maximum number of players on a CFL team in the Grey Cup is 44.

Data available from the Alberta Government confirms 12 classes had more than 44 students during the last school year. (open.alberta.ca)

"Any Saskatchewan Roughrider fan can tell you that fielding too many men could cost you the Grey Cup," ATA president Greg Jeffery said in the release.  

The Roughriders were penalized for having too many men on the field on the last play of the 2009 Grey Cup game costing them the game.

The blunder gave the Montreal Alouettes a second opportunity to kick the game-winning field goal. 

"Too many students in one class penalizes our students much more seriously," Jeffery said.

Large classrooms results in less one-on-one time with teachers, increased classroom-management issues, lower academic outcomes and higher drop-out rates, especially for low-income and minority children, he said.

Alberta Education points out that the 12 classes the ATA highlights represent .013 per cent of all core classes.

In a statement to CBC, Education Minister David Eggen said the average kindergarten to Grade 3 classroom is just over 20 kids, and all other grades are under 24 students.

"While we recognize there's clearly more to do, we're pleased that, on average, kids in Alberta continue to learn in reasonably small classrooms."