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Re: [ca-resisters] Districts plan to increase class size



Peter,

I agree; I can't believe how the Tennessee study in particular has been
misused. First of all, my best friend from high school works for the
TEA and has for years so she sent me all the info about the STAR study.
First of all they reduced class size from 22 or 23 to 17/18 and if I
remember correctly, the only schools where the improvement in
achievement was significant was in inner-city, poor schools. Rural and
suburban schools didn't show much growth at all - EVEN with the smaller
class sizes.

So instead of reducing class sizes in school districts like urban
districts that had huge class sizes to begin with, we did it everywhere
- and NOW, surprise, surprise, we can't afford it and when you look at
the entire state, you probably are not going to see major improvements
that can be tied strictly to lowered class sizes. I wonder if someone
did a study in inner city schools where class sizes went from 32 to 20
if the results would be different. I can tell you than in Menlo Park
where we had class sizes of 25, our test scores have not improved much
at all - if that is the rationale. Now parents are happier and so are
teachers and in the end, I believe it is better BUT if you're only going
to look at increased improvement Statewide - aint' gonna happen, I
don't think

I'm sure that folks on the list who have more info than I will correct
me where I'm wrong.

Karen

-----Original Message-----
From: arn-l-owner@interversity.org [mailto:arn-l-owner@interversity.org]
On Behalf Of Peter Farruggio
Sent: Monday, January 13, 2003 6:04 AM
To: ca-resisters@interversity.org
Cc: arn-l@interversity.org; five-point-plan@egroups.com
Subject: Re: [arn-l] [ca-resisters] Districts plan to increase class
size

Re: the research that allegedly shows that decreasing class size does
not
improve outcomes:

I don't have the figures or citations at hand, but i clearly remember
having reviewed some of these studies a few years ago, and that they
were
done in districts that already HAD small class sizes by California
standards (we average 32 kids in 4th-6th and 35-plus in
secondary). Usually it was something like comparing classes with a
standard size of 20-22 kids vs the innovation of smaller classes of
15-18
kids. Beware the spin doctors!

Pete Farruggio




At 11:18 PM 1/12/03, you wrote:

>The ironic thing, here, is the definition of "large" class size is
closer to
>what California calls "small" class size with our average of twenty in
>primary grades.
>Nancy
>
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "George Sheridan" <learn@jps.net>
>To: <ca-resisters@interversity.org>
>Sent: Sunday, January 12, 2003 11:09 PM
>Subject: Re: [ca-resisters] Districts plan to increase class size
>
>
> > At 05:48 PM 1/10/2003 -0800, George Sheridan wrote:
> > >Contrary to the assertion in this article, there is ample evidence
of the
> > >benefits of class size reduction. I'll post a few key references
soon.
> >
> >
> > In the Los Angeles Unified School District, Vital Search Inc.
studied
> > 20,000 students who were enrolled in smaller classes in grades K-3.
In
> > April 2001 they reported that:
> > * Scores were higher in smaller classes;
> > * Math and language arts scores improved the most;
> > * These results were most notable in low-achieving year-round
schools;
> > * Poor Hispanic students benefited the most from being enrolled
in
> > smaller classes.
> > The Tennessee Student/Teacher Achievement Ratio project (ironically
called
> > STAR) was launched in 1985. For five years, researchers tracked
6,500
> > students in 79 schools. K-3 students were randomly assigned to
classes
>with
> > 13 to 17 students. An equal number of students in the same schools
were
> > assigned to classes with 22 to 25 students.
> >
> > Children who attended grades K-3 in smaller classes did
significantly
> > better on tests than children in the larger classes. (These were not
> > high-stakes tests, just standardized achievement tests similar to
those
> > long administered in most schools.)
> >
> > After five years, these children continued to outperform others in
>reading,
> > math and science, even though they'd moved to larger classes. By
eighth
> > grade, students who had attended the smaller classes in grades K-3
>averaged
> > at least one full year ahead of their peers academically.
> >
> > In a follow-up study released March 2001, Princeton researcher Alan
>Krueger
> > found that smaller class sizes can help erase the minority
achievement
>gap.
> >
> > In January 2002 Alex Molnar of Arizona State University released
data
> > showing that a reduced class size program in Wisconsin continues to
> > increase achievement among poor students.
> >
> >
> > George Sheridan
> >
> > What does labor want?
> > We want more school houses and less jails,
> > More books and less arsenals,
> > More learning and less vice,
> > More constant work and less crime,
> > More leisure and less greed,
> > More justice and less revenge.
> > - Samuel Gompers, 1893
>
>
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