It depends on which study you read! It also depends on the definition of “small class size”. In general, most researchers can agree that going from 28 to 24 students does not make a big enough difference to create a benefit. In general, the magic number seems to be less than 18 but more than 12. Some researchers have not found a connection between smaller classes and higher student achievement, but most of the research shows that when class size reduction programs are well-designed and implemented in the primary grades (K-3), student achievement rises as class size drops.
In the “Small Class” article by Biddle and Berliner, they quote the The Heritage Foundation, which found that there is no evidence that smaller class sizes alone lead to higher student achievement. The premise is that good teachers are good teachers and they’ll be effective no matter what the number. They also hint toward the theory that the money it costs to higher additional teacher to get the class sizes smaller is money better spent elsewhere.
Another group disagreeing with smaller class size is the Center for American Progress (CAP). In a report, they say class size reduction produces very little benefit for students. The report also notes that class size reduction is very expensive to implement. Because it is, the report sa...
... middle of paper ...
... what parent doesn’t want the best for their child? This leads to an effective tactic that school spending supporters use: Any reduction in school funding, no matter how small, will cause class sizes to “explode” or “balloon” out of control, causing student achievement to “plummet.”
The Teacher’s Union also advocates for small class size. Not only do they believe that having small class sizes benefits students, small class size means more teachers and more union members. Fewer students means an easier job for teachers, too, with less papers to grade, etc. This, in their estimation, leads to more effective teachers, which in turn leads to more successful students.
Whatever way you look at it, the effectiveness of the teacher seems to be the most important factor. If a lower class size just equals less work for the teacher, the students will not see the benefits.
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