ERIC Number: ED419290
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Jan
Attempting To Understand the Class Size and Pupil-Teacher Ratio (PTR) Confusion: A Pilot Study.
Achilles, C. M.; Sharp, Mark; Nye, B. A.
Confusion over the concepts of class size and pupil-teacher ratio (PTR) creates a conundrum for researchers, policy makers, and practitioners. An examination of how these two concepts are different is presented in this paper. A review of the literature suggests that class-size reduction makes a positive overall difference in student achievement, whereas an increase in the PTR is associated with lower student achievement. To explore this finding, a study on the two concepts was performed using 104 elementary schools and 12 secondary schools. The results show that class-size reductions do influence student outcomes positively but that PTR changes do not influence student outcomes significantly. A number of recommendations for future research are made, such as the importance of professional and policy persons using the terms PTR and class size with precision; that researchers continue to conduct studies on both PTR and class size; that researchers reanalyze prior studies using consistent definitions; and that policy-related research focus on ways to benefit students directly. Some implications for funding, policy implementation, probable roadblocks, and plans for future studies are provided. Contains 26 references. (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of School Administrators (San Diego, CA, February 27-March 3, 1998).