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May 9 / Jonathan

‘Good effects’ of small classes

The BBC reports:

A long-term study in the USA suggests children benefit from being taught in small classes over several years.

There’s a catch, though: “small” in this context means 13-17 students per class, not the 20 that California’s class-size reduction calls for.

There’s more information at the HEROS site.

Findings from the current major well-designed class size studies, seem to have influenced policy makers toward the institution of reduced class size. Ernest L. Boyer, president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, has laid out a four-point plan to ensure that all children are educated to their full potential, which includes reducing classes to “no more than 15 students per teacher” for the early elementary grades. In addition, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) Delegate Assembly has revised their class size policy statement from 20 to 1 down to recommending a student-teacher ratio of 15 to 1.

California needs to set up a pilot program to test these results in our own schools. CSR is a very expensive program; we should be measuring its results.

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