Tonight in class we had a spirited debate about whether class size matters. A somewhat dated, yet applicable article called When Politics Meets Practice (1998) weighs such questions as:
- What does the research say?
- What are the trade-off’s to small class sizes?
- How did California’s Class Size Reduction Initiative work out?
- What are the political ramifications / roadblocks to limiting class size?
- What about Equity? Is space a limiting factor?
While the article points out that there is a correlation between class size and student achievement, simply lowering the number of students in a class is no substitute for poor teaching.
Further research would include the STAR Project out of Tennessee. This report indicates that class size does matter, especially in the early grades.
What do you think?