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4 Replies to “Class Size”
You hit the nail on the head. Basically what this says is that bad teachers who can’t command the attention of their classes do better if they have less kids in their classes. Actually, the teachers don’t even do better, but the kids behave better for the same reason that a small town has less crime than a big city does – less anonymity.
The solution is not to reduce class size and thus have to hire more bad teachers, but to keep classes big, within reason, and to focus more on hiring and training good teachers.
I address this more here:
Eduwonk, I love you for getting this right. It’s the teaching. It’s always been about teaching. Maybe smaller class sizes mean that fewer kids get the bad teacher every year,
True, true. In addition, on a macro level, a challenge posed by smaller class sizes is the watering down of teacher quality. See California’s experience with class size reduction in the 1990s with led to many uncredentialed and ill-prepared teachers.
We should continue to pursue class size in a targeted fashion based on available evidence, but I believe you still get a greater bang for your buck through high-quality teacher training, including induction, mentoring, residency, and job-embedded professional development.
With class size reduction and many other structural reforms in education, the need for excellent teachers is too often ignored.
Or smaller classes mean more kids get bad teachers?