ERIC Number: ED448496
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
The Costs and Benefits of Smaller Classes in Wisconsin: A Further Evaluation of the SAGE Program.
Wisconsin Policy Research Institute Report, v13 n6 Sep 1999.
Wisconsin's Student Achievement Guarantee in Education (SAGE) program demonstrates that small class sizes have unclear achievement benefits and that improvements remain isolated in small populations. SAGE grants $2,000 per low income student to elementary schools agreeing to class sizes of 15 students, extended hours, a rigorous curriculum, and professional development programs. SAGE is likely to expand, despite evidence of ineffectiveness, in part because of immense political support. SAGE supporters claim reducing class size will increase teacher focus and student participation, reduce classroom problems, improve morale, and spur innovative practices. These claims are advanced despite counter evidence of weaknesses in internal review processes and issues with evaluation by outside reviewers. Research reveals limitations in SAGE effectiveness, including a minimal impact on achievement in second and third grade, particularly among African Americans, no measurable impact among non-African American students, and meager average gains. Funding increases required by current plans to expand SAGE are unwarranted given likely marginal achievement gains. (Contains 90 citations.) (TEJ)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Achievement Gains, Class Size, Educational Finance, Educational Policy, Effective Schools Research, Elementary Education, Public Policy, School Support, Small Classes, Teacher Student Ratio
Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, P.O. Box 487, Thiensville, WI 53092. Tel: 262-241-0514. For full text: http://www.wpri.org.
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Policy Research Inst., Milwaukee.