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March 02, 2011


This is right on! And it helps get at why the student achievement data on class size reduction is so mixed. When you cut class size, you have to go on a teacher hiring spree. Some states did this, but without addressing teacher quality. So, effectively, reducing class size meant lowering teacher quality standards since districts had to hire more teachers without improving the quality of the pool they were hiring from. We still don't know what class size reduction would do to student achievement if properly implemented. And either way, the heart of the issue remains: teacher quality.

Totally agree here as well. As a music teacher, I can tell you that when you have 28 kids in a class, you can only ever scratch the surface. And if we're headed toward portfolio reviews, as was hinted at during the meeting with Arne Duncan, than I can assure you that smaller classes would be key in being able to truly teach the national standards with any kind of integrity.

Yes. Yes. Yes. I learned to write in a high school where teachers had small English classes and only three sections of writing-intensive classes. We wrote a three-page theme per week: we received the assignment on a Friday and it had to be turned in the next Friday. On Mondays, the teachers passed out copies of everyone's papers and we went over them. I did this for four years. When I realized my two children were not writing much in high school, we began this regimen--a bit modified--at home. I'd say my kids, ages 19 and 22, are becoming very good writers. And readers, too, I'll add. But teachers, alas, can't do this anymore.

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