ERIC Number: ED440454
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Jan
Class Size Reduction: Great Hopes, Great Challenges. Policy Brief.
WestEd, San Francisco, CA.
This policy brief examines the benefits and the challenges that accompany class-size reduction (CSR). It suggests that when designing CSR programs, states should carefully assess specific circumstances in their schools as they adopt or modify CSR efforts to avoid the unintended consequences that some programs have experienced. Some of the challenges include the teaching supply and teacher quality, inadequate facilities, and a worsening of inequities. However, CSR also can provide many benefits, such as achievement gains, especially for poor and minority students; greater individual attention, the improved identification of special needs, and fewer discipline problems; faster and more indepth coverage of content; greater teacher-parent contact and parent satisfaction; and reduced classroom stress and greater enjoyment of teaching. Research shows that children in the primary grades--especially poor and minority children--benefit most from smaller classes. Schools will need to hire many new teachers, and these newest educators will require mentorship and training programs. Facility support will also need to be examined, along with plans to implement flexible funding. Finally, CSR programs should build in evaluation and research components that focus on unanswered questions. (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: WestEd, San Francisco, CA.