Tag Archives: Study: Class size doesn’t matter:

Is a small school better for students than small class size?

12 Jan

There is an ongoing discussion or battle about whether class size matters in effective learning. Class size reduction theory has both supporters and skeptics. Leonie Hamson writes in the Washington Post article, 7 Class Size Myths — And the Truth      http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/class-size/7-class-size-myths—-and-the.html There is of course, a contrary opinion. The Center for American Progress has a report by Mathew M. Chingos, The False Promise of Class-Size Reduction   https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education/report/2011/04/14/9526/the-false-promise-of-class-size-reduction/

Gina Jordan reported in the State Impact article, Why Small Schools Might Be Better For Students Than Small Classes:

Now, an analysis by government watchdog Florida Taxwatch finds that small classes do make a difference in outcomes for kids in kindergarten through 3rd grade – but not in higher grades. The report’s author, Bob Nave, says the state is better off focusing on smaller schools, like SAS, rather than small classes.

“It’s fairly common sense that smaller classes should result in improved student performance,” Nave says. “The problem is the research just doesn’t back that up.”

The group compiled research showing students in smaller schools do better in math and reading, have fewer behavior problems, and participate in more extracurricular activities. They’re also more likely to graduate.

Nave says the state was actually on a path toward having smaller schools in 2000, when the Florida Legislature passed a law limiting the size of new schools under construction.  Then, the class size amendment passed.

“The Legislature was forced not only to fund small schools, but now they had to fund small classes,” Nave says. “When one looks at the amount of money that was projected for school construction, it became clear that the Legislature could not do both.”

So lawmakers repealed the school size law to focus on class size……                                               http://stateimpact.npr.org/florida/2015/01/05/report-small-schools-trump-small-classes-in-academic-outcomes/

See, New evidence that small schools work?   http://hechingered.org/content/new-evidence-that-small-schools-work_4750/

Here are the conclusions and policy implications from Smaller Schools, Not Smaller Classes:

Conclusions

Based on a literature review, the findings of studies analyzing the effects of school size on student achievement, student behavior, curriculum, economies of scale, and teacher quality suggest the following recurring themes:

  • Student academic achievement is higher in small schools, and this is especially true for minority and low-income students.
  • A greater percentage of students in small schools participate in extracurricular activities, and greater participation is associated with a variety of positive outcomes, including: higher self-esteem, higher educational aspirations, less delinquency, and greater involvement in community activities as an adult.
  • Small schools offer a climate that is more conducive to learning.
  • The cost per student is generally higher in a small school; however, once the size of a school exceeds some optimal level, the cost per student begins to increase, not decrease.
  • Although large schools generally offer a wider range of courses than small schools, there is no reliable relationship between school size and the quality of curriculum.
  • Large schools have an advantage over small schools in terms of teacher qualifications.
  • There is no clear agreement among researchers and educators about what constitutes a “small” school or a “large” school. What is considered to be a large school to one researcher may be considered a small school to another.

Policy Implications

The research suggests that two U-shaped relationships exist with respect to school size, one for student achievement and one for cost efficiency. In both relationships, there is a point at which the positive benefits associated with school size begin to diminish.

This suggests that there is an optimal size for public schools in Florida, above or below which produces diminishing returns in terms of student achievement and cost efficiency. An optimal school size could be calculated that represents the range in the number of students in which school size continues to show a positive relationship between student achievement and cost efficiency. Andrews, et al. (2002), reviewed a number of production function studies and found some evidence that moderately sized elementary schools (300-500 students) and high schools (600- 900 students) may optimally balance economies of size with the negative effects of large schools.

The Florida Legislature recognized the benefits associated with small school size and, in 2000, enacted legislation that required all plans for new educational facilities to be constructed to plans for small chools.

Small schools were defined as follows:

  • Elementary schools—student population of not more than 500 students;
  • Middle schools—student population of not more than 700 students;
  • High schools—student population of not more than 900 students;
  • Combination (K-8) schools—student population of not more than 700 students; and
  • Combination (K-12) schools—student population of not more than 900 students.

The establishment of enrollment limits for new school construction by the

Legislature was a responsible action supported by a substantial body of research demonstrating the positive benefits of small school size. The voters, however, put the Legislature in a difficult position in 2002 with the passage of the constitutional amendment establishing class size limits. This forced the Legislature to fund both small schools and small class sizes. Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) funds, the primary source of funding for new educational facility construction, decreased from $807.0 million in fiscal year 2002-03 to $752.4 million in fiscal year 2003- 04 and no significant increase in PECO revenues was projected over the short term.

With insufficient revenues to fund both small schools and small classes, the Legislature acted responsibly when it repealed the requirements for small school construction in 2003. This is a good example of a popular initiative trumping a sound public policy that is based upon a competent and substantial body of

empirical research…..   http://www.floridataxwatch.org/resources/pdf/SmallSchoolsFINAL.pdf

The battle between those who say class size matters and those who say it does not continues to simmer.

Related:

Reducing class size in an era of reduced state budgets

https://drwilda.com/2012/06/16/reducing-class-size-in-an-era-of-reduced-state-budgets/

Battle of the studies: Does class size matter?

https://drwilda.com/2012/01/30/battle-of-the-studies-does-class-size-matter/

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National Education Policy Center study: Class size matters

24 Feb

In Battle of the studies: Does class size matter? Moi said:
There is an ongoing discussion or battle about whether class size matters in effective learning. Class size reduction theory has both supporters and skeptics. Leonie Hamson writes in the Washington Post article, 7 Class Size Myths — And the Truth There is of course, a contrary opinion. The Center for American Progress report by Mathew M. Chingos, The False Promise of Class-Size Reduction says advocates for class size reducation have not made their case.

In the Executive Summary Chingos reports:
There is surprisingly little high-quality research, however, on the effects of class size on student achievement in the United States. The credible evidence that does exist is not consistent, and there are many low-quality studies with results all over the map. The most encouraging results for CSR come from a single experiment conducted in the 1980s, which found that a large reduction in class size in the early grades increased test scores, particularly among low-income and African American students. But evaluations of large-scale CSR policies in California and Florida have yielded much less positive results, perhaps because of the need to hire so many (inexperienced and potentially less effective) new teachers. http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education/report/2011/04/14/9526/the-false-promise-of-class-size-reduction/

Chingos does not believe the advocates for smaller class size have made their case.

Suzy Kihmm reported in the Washington Post article, Study: Class size doesn’t matter:

Two Harvard researchers looked at the factors that actually improve student achievement and those that don’t. In a new paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research, Will Dobbie and Roland Freyer analyzed 35 charter schools, which generally have greater flexibility in terms of school structure and strategy. They found that traditionally emphasized factors such as class size made little difference, compared with some new criteria:
We find that traditionally collected input measures — class size, per pupil expenditure, the fraction of teachers with no certification, and the fraction of teachers with an advanced degree — are not correlated with school effectiveness. In stark contrast, we show that an index of five policies suggested by over forty years of qualitative research — frequent teacher feedback, the use of data to guide instruction, high-dosage tutoring, increased instructional time, and high expectations — explains approximately 50 percent of the of the variation in school effectiveness.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/study-class-size-doesnt-matter/2012/01/28/gIQAaiZAYQ_blog.html?hpid=z3

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/battle-of-the-studies-does-class-size-matter/

As state and local budgets shrink, class size reduction is shelved in favor of increasing class size. A National Education Policy Center (NEPC) study which reviews prior studies finds class size does matter.

Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post reported in the article, Class size matters a lot, research shows:

A new review of the major research that has been conducted on class size by Northwestern University Associate Professor Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach and published by the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado Boulder makes clear that class size matters, and it matters a lot. Schanzanbach, an associate professor of human development and social policy at Northwestern and chair of the Institute for Policy Research’s Program on Child, Adolescent, and Family Studies, writes in the review:
Considering the body of research as a whole, the following policy recommendations emerge:
*Class size is an important determinant of student outcomes, and one that can be directly determined by policy. All else being equal, increasing class sizes will harm student outcomes.
* The evidence suggests that increasing class size will harm not only children’s test scores in the short run, but also their long-run human capital formation. Money saved today by increasing class sizes will result in more substantial social and educational costs in the future.
* The payoff from class-size reduction is greater for low-income and minority children, while any increases in class size will likely be most harmful to these populations.
* Policymakers should carefully weigh the efficacy of class-size policy against other potential uses of funds. While lower class size has a demonstrable cost, it may prove the more cost-effective policy overall. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/02/24/class-size-matters-a-lot-research-shows/

Here is the press release from NEPC:

Class-Size Reduction: Better Than You Think
Reference Publication:
Does Class Size Matter?
NEPC policy brief finds strong evidence for the benefits of making classes smaller
Contact:
William J. Mathis, (802) 383-0058, wmathis@sover.net
Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, (847) 491-3884, dws@northwestern.edu
URL for this press release: http://tinyurl.com/k7j64z2
BOULDER, CO (February 18, 2014) – While a series of high-profile and often controversial school reforms has gotten the lion’s share of attention from policymakers over the last decade or two, one reform appears to have been consistently ignored and marginalized: reducing the size of classes.
Yet, as Professor Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach points out in a new policy brief released today, the evidence that class size reduction helps raise student achievement is strong. Schanzenbach’s report, published today by the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) at the University of Colorado Boulder, provides a comprehensive review of class-size research.
According to Professor Schanzenbach, class-size reduction has been the victim of a popular misconception that the strategy has been largely unsuccessful. One recent example, Schanzenbach notes, is the writer Malcolm Gladwell, who in a recent book describes small class sizes as a “thing we are convinced is such a big advantage [but] might not be such an advantage at all.”
In fact, she writes, the real story is just the opposite. “Class size matters,” writes Schanzenbach, an economist and education policy professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. “Research supports the common-sense notion that children learn more and teachers are more effective in smaller classes.”
Citing evidence from the academic literature, Schanzenbach explains that “class size is an important determinant of a variety of student outcomes ranging from test scores to broader life outcomes. Smaller classes are particularly effective at raising achievement levels of low-income and minority children.”
Conversely, she points out, raising class size can be shown to be harmful to children. “Money saved today by increasing class sizes will result in more substantial social and educational costs in the future,” she writes.
“Policymakers should carefully weigh the efficacy of class-size policy against other potential uses of funds,” Schanzenbach concludes. “While lower class size has a demonstrable cost, it may prove the more cost-effective policy overall.”
Find Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach’s report, Does Class Size Matter? on the web at:
http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/does-class-size-matter.
The mission of the National Education Policy Center is to produce and disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. We are guided by the belief that the democratic governance of public education is strengthened when policies are based on sound evidence. For more information on NEPC, please visit http://nepc.colorado.edu/.
This policy brief was made possible in part by the support of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice. A copy of this brief can be found at http://greatlakescenter.org.

The battle between those who say class size matters and those who say it does not continues to simmer.

Related:

Reducing class size in an era of reduced state budgets https://drwilda.com/2012/06/16/reducing-class-size-in-an-era-of-reduced-state-budgets/

Battle of the studies: Does class size matter? https://drwilda.com/2012/01/30/battle-of-the-studies-does-class-size-matter/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

Reducing class size in an era of reduced state budgets

16 Jun

In Battle of the studies: Does class size matter? Moi said:

There is an ongoing discussion or battle about whether class size matters in effective learning. Class size reduction theory has both supporters and skeptics. Leonie Hamson writes in the Washington Post article, 7 Class Size Myths — And the Truth There is of course, a contrary opinion. The Center for American Progress has a report by Mathew M. Chingos, The False Promise of Class-Size Reduction

In the Executive Summary Chingos reports:

There is surprisingly little high-quality research, however, on the effects of class size on student achievement in the United States. The credible evidence that does exist is not consistent, and there are many low-quality studies

with results all over the map. The most encouraging results for CSR come from a single experiment conducted in the 1980s, which found that a large reduction in class size in the early grades increased test scores, particularly among low-income and African American students. But evaluations of large-scale CSR policies in California and Florida have yielded much less positive results, perhaps because of the need to hire so many (inexperienced and potentially less effective) new teachers.

Chingos does not believe the advocates for smaller class size have made their case.

Suzy Kihmm reports in the Washington Post article, Study: Class size doesn’t matter:

Two Harvard researchers looked at the factors that actually improve student achievement and those that don’t. In a new paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research, Will Dobbie and Roland Freyer analyzed 35 charter schools, which generally have greater flexibility in terms of school structure and strategy. They found that traditionally emphasized factors such as class size made little difference, compared with some new criteria:

We find that traditionally collected input measures — class size, per pupil expenditure, the fraction of teachers with no certification, and the fraction of teachers with an advanced degree — are not correlated with school effectiveness. In stark contrast, we show that an index of five policies suggested by over forty years of qualitative research — frequent teacher feedback, the use of data to guide instruction, high-dosage tutoring, increased instructional time, and high expectations — explains approximately 50 percent of the of the variation in school effectiveness.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/study-class-size-doesnt-matter/2012/01/28/gIQAaiZAYQ_blog.html?hpid=z3

https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/battle-of-the-studies-does-class-size-matter/

As state and local budgets shrink, class size reduction is shelved in favor of increasing class size.

Gregory Kristof writes in the Huffington Post article, Class Size Increases Should Focus On Higher Grades, Smaller Classes Critical In Early Years: Study:

Small class sizes are crucial for learning at the younger grades, but may be less important as children mature, according to a new study.

The report, called “Smart Class-Size Policies for Lean Times” and released in March by the Southern Regional Educational Board, comes as state education departments have repeatedly cut costs by increasing class sizes, and when critics are questioning the significance of small classes and the success of liberal education reform policies.

Complicating matters is the high cost of reducing class size — one of the most expensive education reforms. Lowering the nationwide average K-12 class size would cost $10 billion a year, the report finds. Furthermore, decreasing class size would require more teacher positions to be filled, and could lower average teacher quality in the process.

Noel Sheppard, for instance, notes in a NewsBusters op-ed that while the nationwide teacher to student ratio has increased over the past decades, test scores have not improved dramatically. Newsbusters is a project of the Media Research Center

“That’s not something the Left and their media minions care to discuss as political leaders try to deal with budget deficits by cutting payrolls,” he writes. “Yet the solution we constantly hear for declining test scores and graduation rates is ever more teachers.”

Yet the SREB report cautions against expanding class sizes at the lower levels, where effects of class size on student achievement are greater.          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/15/class-size_n_1600419.html?utm_hp_ref=education

Here is the conclusion from the report, “Smart Class-Size Policies for Lean Times” and released by the Southern Regional Educational Board:

Conclusion

Some policy-makers and education leaders may be tempted to increase class size to cut costs. If cost cutting is the only goal, they should focus on the point in the K-12 pipeline where class-size reduction has not yet proven necessary to support academic performance — high school. Research clearly shows that students benefit most from smaller classes in the early grades, especially
kindergarten through grade three. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has even weighed in on this point, arguing that if states do decide to relax class-size policies to save money, they should do so in high schools, not the early grades. The following recommendations can help policymakers move toward smart class-size policies:
Maintain rigorous and enforceable class size policies in the early grades:

Policymakers and education leaders should resist the urge to relax small-class policies for early grades students, even when budgets are tight….

Monitor individual student achievement and engagement:

Policy-makers and education leaders should insist that schools, districts and the state monitor individual student performance and behavior in grades where class sizes are increased, to prevent increased student failure that could result from larger classes.
States should commit to follow-up research whenever they alter their class-size policies to ensure their students are not affected adversely. If increases are needed, the best approach is stepwise, incremental change rather than a large, one-step increase. It
should be coupled with continuous monitoring of States also need to monitor any changes they make in student performance after they implement changes in class size. …http://publications.sreb.org/2012/12E02R_Smart_Class.bkmark.pdf

Catherine Rampell wrote in the 2009 New York Times article, Class Size Around the World:

Note that some of the countries with some of the world’s highest achieving student bodies — like Korea and Japan — have the biggest class sizes. Perhaps this has to do with cultural differences; societies with Confucian roots may have stricter hierarchies within the classroom, so perhaps it’s easier (or more expected) for a single teacher to manage a bigger group of students. But presumably there are other explanations, too.http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/11/class-size-around-the-world/

Rampell includes charts from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in her article.

Something to think about.

Here is the citation:

Getting Beneath the Veil of Effective Schools: Evidence from New York City

Will Dobbie, Roland G. Fryer, Jr

NBER Working Paper No. 17632

Issued in December 2011

NBER Program(s):   ED   LS                                                                                                                                      You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Battle of the studies: Does class size matter?

30 Jan

There is an ongoing discussion or battle about whether class size matters in effective learning. Class size reduction theory has both supporters and skeptics. Leonie Hamson writes in the Washington Post article, 7 Class Size Myths — And the Truth

So perhaps its time to review what the research really says and what experience shows about the importance of reducing class size. Here are seven myths about class size, commonly repeated as gospel by the corporate-type reformers, juxtaposed with the facts.

1. Myth: Class size is an unproven or ineffective reform.

Studies from Tennessee, Wisconsin, and states throughout the country have demonstrated that students who are assigned to smaller classes in grades K-3rd do better in every way that can be measured: they score higher on tests, receive better grades, and exhibit improved attendance.

The Institute of Education Sciences, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education has concluded that class size reduction is one of only four, evidence-based reforms that have been proven to increase student achievement through rigorous, randomized experiments — the “gold standard” of research. (The other three reforms are one-on-one tutoring by qualified tutors for at-risk readers in grades 1-3; life-skills training for junior high students, and instruction for early readers in phonics – and not one of the policies that the corporate reformers are pushing.

A recent re-evaluation of the STAR experiment in Tennessee revealed that students who were in smaller classes in Kindergarten had higher earnings in adulthood, as well as a greater likelihood of attending college and having a 410K retirement plan. In fact, according to this study, the only two “observable” classroom factors that led to better outcomes were being placed in a small class and having an experienced teacher.

2. Myth: There is a threshold that has to be reached before class size reduction provides benefits.

Since STAR involved comparing outcomes between students in classes of 22 to 25 students and those in classes of 13 to 17, many critics have argued that classes have to be reduced to a certain level to provide benefits.

Yet Alan Krueger of Princeton University analyzed the STAR results for the control group of students who were in the “larger” classes and found that within this range, the smaller the class, the better the outcome.

Indeed, esteemed researchers such as Peter Blatchford have found that there is no particular threshold that must be reached before students receive benefits from smaller classes, and any reduction in class size increases the probability that they will be on-task and positively engaged in learning.

3. Myth: Large scale programs such as class size reduction in California didn’t work.

Actually, every controlled study of the California class size reduction program –and there have been at least six so far—have shown significant gains from smaller classes.

Unlike the STAR studies, nearly all elementary schools in the state reduced class size at once –especially in grades K-2nd—so it was hard to find a control group with which to compare outcomes. Also, the state exam was new, making it difficult to compare achievement gains to past trends.

Yet given these limitations, the results were striking: even when analyzing the achievement of third graders who had the benefits of a smaller class for only one year, as compared to those who were in large classes, the gains were substantial, especially for disadvantaged students in inner-city schools.

In the five largest school districts other than Los Angeles, namely San Diego, San Francisco, Long Beach, Oakland and Fresno, researchers found that class size reduction raised the proportion of third graders who exceeded the national median by l0.5 % in math, and 8.4 % in reading, after controlling for all other factors. Even larger gains occurred in schools with high numbers of poor students, and in schools that had 100% black enrollment, lowering class size resulted in 14.7% more students exceeding the national median in math, and 18.4% more in reading.

Another researcher, Fatih Unlu, avoided some of the pitfalls encountered by other researchers who were stymied by the fact that the state tests were new and there were few students to use as a control group. In his paper, he instead analyzed the change in National Assessment of Educational Progress scores, and by using two different statistical methods, he found very substantial gains from smaller classes.

4. Myth: Class size reduction lowers the quality of teachers.

This urban legend is often repeated by the corporate-style reformers. Typical is the claim from
Mr. Snider, that lowering class size in California “had the unintended effect of creating a run on good teachers: the best teachers tended to flee to the suburbs, which were suddenly hiring and which offered better pay and working conditions…

5. Myth: Class size matters, but only in the early grades.

Although there has been no large scale experiment done for the middle and upper grades, as STAR did in the early grades, there are numerous studiesthat show smaller classes are correlated with achievement gains and/or lower dropout rates in the middle and upper grades as well.

One comprehensive study, done for the U.S. Department of Education, analyzed the achievement levels of students in 2,561 schools across the country. After controlling for student background, the only objective factor found to be positively correlated with student performance was smaller classes, not school size or teacher qualifications, nor any other variable that the researchers could identify. Moreover, student achievement was even more strongly linked to class size reduction in the upper grades than the lower grades….

7. Myth: Even if class size matters, it’s just too expensive.

Many studies have shown that class size reduction is cost-effective because it results in higher wages later in life (see the above study, for example), and lower costs for health care and/or welfare dependency.

One re-analysis of the STAR data published in the American Journal of Public Health estimated that reducing class sizes may be more cost-effective than almost any other public health and medical intervention, with large savings in health care and almost two years of additional life for those students who were in smaller classes in the early grades….

Also, class size reduction is one of very few educational interventions that have been proven to narrow the achievement gap, with students from poor and minority backgrounds experiencing twice the gains as the average student. While many of the high-achieving charter schools, such as the Icahn charter schools in the Bronx, and those highly celebrated such as Harlem Children’s Zone, cap class sizes at 18 or less, class sizes in our inner-city public schools continue to grow.

As a recent issue brief on the achievement gap from the Educational Testing Service pointed out, schools having high numbers of minority students are more likely to feature large classes of 25 students or more, with the class size gap between high-minority schools and low-minority schools larger over time. Don’t we have a moral obligation to provide equitable opportunities to all children?

So the next time somebody with power or influence tells you that class size reduction is a waste of money, ask him what the evidence-base is for the policies he favors instead. Or ask him what class sizes were in the school his own child attends.

Many of the individuals who are driving education policy in this country, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and Bill Gates, sent their own children to private schools where class sizes were low and yet continue to insist that resources, equitable funding, and class size don’t matter – when all the evidence points to the contrary.

As John Dewey wrote, “What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all of its children.” If education is really the civil rights issue of our era, it is about time those people making policies for our schools begin to provide for other people’s children what they provide for their own.

There is of course, a contrary opinion.

The Center for American Progress has a report by Mathew M. Chingos, The False Promise of Class-Size Reduction

In the Executive Summary Chingos reports:

There is surprisingly little high-quality research, however, on the effects of class size on student achievement in the United States. The credible evidence that does exist is not consistent, and there are many low-quality studies

with results all over the map. The most encouraging results for CSR come from a single experiment conducted in the 1980s, which found that a large reduction in class size in the early grades increased test scores, particularly among low-income and African American students. But evaluations of large-scale CSR policies in California and Florida have yielded much less positive results, perhaps because of the need to hire so many (inexperienced and potentially less effective) new teachers.

Chingos does not believe the advocates for smaller class size have made their case.

Suzy Kihmm reports in the Washington Post article, Study: Class size doesn’t matter:

Two Harvard researchers looked at the factors that actually improve student achievement and those that don’t. In a new paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research, Will Dobbie and Roland Freyer analyzed 35 charter schools, which generally have greater flexibility in terms of school structure and strategy. They found that traditionally emphasized factors such as class size made little difference, compared with some new criteria:
We find that traditionally collected input measures — class size, per pupil expenditure, the fraction of teachers with no certification, and the fraction of teachers with an advanced degree — are not correlated with school effectiveness. In stark contrast, we show that an index of five policies suggested by over forty years of qualitative research — frequent teacher feedback, the use of data to guide instruction, high-dosage tutoring, increased instructional time, and high expectations — explains approximately 50 percent of the variation in school effectiveness.                                            http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/study-class-size-doesnt-matter/2012/01/28/gIQAaiZAYQ_blog.html?hpid=z3

Catherine Rampell wrote in the 2009 New York Times article, Class Size Around the World:

Note that some of the countries with some of the world’s highest achieving student bodies — like Korea and Japan — have the biggest class sizes. Perhaps this has to do with cultural differences; societies with Confucian roots may have stricter hierarchies within the classroom, so perhaps it’s easier (or more expected) for a single teacher to manage a bigger group of students. But presumably there are other explanations, too.http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/11/class-size-around-the-world/

Rampell includes charts from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in her article.

Something to think about.

Here is the citation:

Getting Beneath the Veil of Effective Schools: Evidence from New York City

Will Dobbie, Roland G. Fryer, Jr

NBER Working Paper No. 17632

Issued in December 2011

NBER Program(s):   ED   LS                                                                                                                                      You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©