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A discussion on class size reduction in american schools

Smaller classes, higher achievement and narrowing the opportunity gap Baker, B. Although it is certainly plausible that other uses of the same money might be equally or even more effective, there is little evidence to support this … Smaller class sizes and reduced total student loads are a relevant working condition simultaneously influencing teacher recruitment and retention ; that is, providing smaller classes may partly offset the need for higher wages for recruiting or retaining teachers.

Research-Based Options for Education Policymaking: The Effectiveness of Class Size Reduction. The research brief outlines the benefits of smaller classes in terms of student achievement, graduation rates and non-cognitive skills.

Analyses of school finance reforms reveal that a 10 percent increase in per-pupil spending each year for all twelve years of public schooling leads to 0. Higher spending increases were associated with notable improvements in measured school inputs, including reductions in student-to-teacher ratios, increases in teacher salaries, and longer school years.

Class size and academic results, with a focus on children from culturally, linguistically and economically disenfranchised communities. Evidence Base, issue 1, 2014. In this research summary, the author examined class size reduction and its effect on student achievement by analyzing 112 peer-reviewed studies, and showed that the overwhelming majority of these studies found that smaller classes have a significant impact on student achievement and narrowing the achievement gap.

Does Class Size Matter? Smaller classes are particularly effective at raising achievement levels of low-income and minority children. Policymakers should carefully weigh the efficacy of class-size policy against other potential uses of funds.

  1. The Definitive article on class size. For a study commissioned by the US Department of Education, McLaughlin et al 2000 [25] analyzed the performance of students in over 2500 schools on state exams adjusted for difficulty via their scores on the NAEP national exams.
  2. CSR is part of a system of reforms and problems that need to be considered in a coordinated manner, in relation to both the practice and research of schooling.
  3. As a direct measure of the number of students in each class, group size is currently understood by the educational community to be the best measure of a teacher's "true opportunity to build direct relationships with each student.

While lower class size has a demonstrable cost, it may prove the more cost-effective policy overall. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 32 4: Among those students with the lowest predicted probability of attending college, a small class increased rate of college attendance by 11 percentage points.

Attending a small class also increases the probability of earning a college degree, and to shift students toward earning degrees in high-earning fields such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics STEMbusiness and economics.

Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 37 4. Evidence shows that Black students benefit more than others from reduced class size in first- second- and third-grade academic achievement, substantially narrowing the achievement gap. What do we Know? Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

  • Ideally, classes should be limited to 15;
  • American Journal of Public Health;
  • Reducing class size to increase student achievement is an approach that has been tried, debated, and analysed for many decades;
  • The following policy recommendations and principles are therefore suggested;
  • A summary of the research by one of the premier STAR investigators;
  • Political conservatives have extolled his conclusions, complimented his efforts, and asked him to testify in various forums where class-size issues are debated.

Classroom observations were undertaken at grades K-3, along with teacher surveys and parent surveys, the latter from every school district in Ontario. Input and student achievement: Journal of Human Resources, 44.

A summary of the effects of smaller classes on the achievement gap through eighth grade. Effects significant in all tested subjects, and for students in smaller classes for four years, very substantial.

Thus, class size reduction appears to be an intervention that increases the achievement levels for all students while simultaneously reducing the achievement gap. Journal of Urban Economics, Vol.

Empirical findings indicate that class-size expansion may reduce gains for low-effort students more than for high-effort students, Results here…suggest …that larger gains for disadvantaged students may have occurred because small classes allow teachers to incentivize disengaged students more effectively, or because students are better able connect to the school setting in small classes. Bridging the Achievement Gap: Learning from three charter schools part 1part 2part 3part 4. Columbia University Doctoral Dissertation.

Small classes and small overall student loads allow teachers to spend more time working with individual students to help them track their own progress and develop their skills — thus reinforcing the principle that effort yields success.

Achievement Differences and School Type: American Journal of Education, 115. Multilevel analysis of National Assessment of Educational Progress NAEP mathematics data for over 270,000 fourth and eighth graders a discussion on class size reduction in american schools over 10,000 schools finds that smaller class size is significantly correlated with higher achievement.

The persistence of preschool effects: Do subsequent classroom experiences matter? Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 22 118 — 38. Yet most of the preschool-related gap in academic skills at school entry is quickly eliminated for children placed in small classes and those providing high levels of reading instruction.

Conversely, the initial disparities persisted for children experiencing large classes and lower levels of reading instruction. Optimal Context Size in Elementary Schools: Brookings Papers on Education Policy, pp.

California Class Size Reduction Reform: Journal of Educational Psychology. Furthermore, the impact of attending a small class was especially noteworthy for students from low-income homes. Three years or more of small classes affected the graduation rates of low-SES students, increasing the odds of graduating by about 67.

Review of Economics and Statistics. Yet in small classes, students learn more, and racial disparity between teacher and student has no significant effect.

Theory and Evidence from France.

  1. Reducing class size to increase student achievement is an approach that has been tried, debated, and analysed for many decades. The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect any official policies or positions of Education International.
  2. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 37 4.
  3. Money saved by not decreasing class sizes may result in substantial social and educational costs in the future.
  4. Pas Isenberg 2010 [46] found that a decrease in class size from 23 to 20 students in New York State under a district-wide policy decreased the probability that a teacher would leave the school by 4. Statement on Class Size and Teacher Workload.
  5. Higher spending increases were associated with notable improvements in measured school inputs, including reductions in student-to-teacher ratios, increases in teacher salaries, and longer school years.

Parsing the Achievement Gap. Institute of Education Sciences. A User Friendly Guide. Class size reduction identified as one of four K-12 education reforms proven to increase learning. Moreover, black students tend to advance further… from attending a small class than do white students, both while they are in a small class and afterwards.

For black students, we also find that being assigned to a small class for an average of two years in grade K — 3 is associated with an increased probability of subsequently taking the ACT or SAT college entrance exam, and 0.

The Impact of class size reduction on student achievement. We believe that CSR will help to increase student achievement, especially for students who need it the most: It can be concluded from the results of this study that CSR does help to increase language achievement gains, especially for ELL students. School-Level Correlates of Academic Achievement: The most authoritative study showing the importance of class size is in all grades, analyzing the achievement levels of students in 2,561 schools, as measured by performance on the NAEP national exams.

  • Input and student achievement;
  • Adverse effects on the teaching, learning, and retention of first-year students;
  • While teacher quality and the quality of teacher preparation is at the heart of the effectiveness of almost any reform, conflating STR with class size reduction fails to focus on the mechanisms thought to be at work in smaller classes.

After controlling for student background, the only objective factor found to be positively correlated with student performance was class size, not school size, not teacher qualifications, nor any other variable that the researchers could identify.

Student achievement was even more strongly linked to smaller classes in the upper rather than the lower grades. Disadvantaged children are the most likely to gain benefits from such programs. What do we know? A comprehensive and wide-scale analysis of CSR analyses, experimental studies and state initiatives. Are smaller Classes the Answer? Thorough analysis of contemporary research articles evincing the benefits of smaller class sizes.

Small Classes, Big Possibilities. Statement on Class Size and Teacher Workload: All of the major professional organizations in the field of composition recommend course sizes of no more than twenty students for K-1, based on the literature on class size and writing. The Tennessee Study of class size in the early school grades. The Future of Children, 5.

  • In an analysis of national longitudinal data of eighth graders, Dee and West 2011 [41] found that reductions in class size were associated with improvements in non-cognitive skills related to psychological engagement with school, more positive reactions to teachers, peers, and academics in general, higher levels of interest and motivation, lower levels of boredom and anxiety, and a greater sense of belonging;
  • What do we Know?
  • Many creditable and peer reviewed research projects have concluded that extra gains associated with long-term attendance in small classes in the early grades appeared not only for tests of measured achievement, but also for other measures of success in education and that these gains continued to appear when students — including students that are traditionally disadvantaged in education - were returned to standard classes in the upper grades;
  • Observations confirmed that children originally enrolled in smaller classes continued to outperform their peers when they returned to regular-sized classrooms;
  • Institute of Education Sciences.

Fact Sheet Number 1. Class sizes do matter. Fact sheet with evidence from class size research projects and reading list for the general public. Intraschool variation in class size: Commissioned by the Tennessee State Dept. The study analyzed student achievement and development in three class types: Project STAR followed students from kindergarten through third grade, starting in 1985-1986 and ending in 1988-1989.

The study found significant gains in test scores in every subject and every grade, including reading, math, word study and listening, and lower grade retention rates for students who were in smaller classes; but no significant gains for those in classes with an aide. Gene and Mary Lee Smith. Early meta-analysis of class size literature. Finds that small class sizes 20 students or less are associated with improved academic performance.

Effects are strongest in the early grades and among low-income students. Go to the Top Case studies Tienken, C. Gains in test scores were statistically significant with. Incredible Shrinking Class Size. National Staff Development Council. Describes how one school in Wisconsin reduced class size without additional funding. How Class Size Makes a Difference. One of the best and most readable summaries of the research, prepared by the Regional Educational Laboratory for the Southeast, funded by the U.

A useful introduction, including suggestions on actions parents can take to encourage class-size reduction at their schools. Small Classes in American Schools: Research, Practice, and Politics.

Class-size reduction

A summary of the research by one of the premier STAR investigators. Achievement Effects, Teaching and Classroom Implications. This study was carried out during the first year of the class size reduction program for grades K-3 in the New York City public schools. Many of the students placed in smaller classes appear to be learning faster this year….