ERIC Number: ED454601
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Oct-26
Reference Count: N/A
Small Classes Do Reduce the Test-Score Achievement Gap.
Achilles, C. M.; Finn, J. D.; Gerber, Susan B.
Tennessee's Project STAR, a randomized experiment involving almost 12,000 pupils, demonstrated convincingly that small classes in the early elementary (K-3) grades increase pupil performance, reduce the test-score achievement gap between or among different social groups, and can have long-lasting effects. The benefits are greater for minority students, resulting in a reduced minority-White achievement gap. This paper summarizes latest research on the immediate and long-term effects of small classes. Section 1 discusses the need for independent research on important education issues such as class size and achievement gap. Section 2 begins with a call for clear definition of terms in any class-size discussion. Section 3 presents evidence from recent non-STAR sources related to class size and student achievement. Section 4 offers a summary, conclusions, and some recommendations, including conditions for implementing small classes, problems that districts have encountered, and conditions likely to maximize small-class benefits. Three figures and 14 tables show trends in data. Appendices include a description of STAR, a summary of class-size findings and issues derived from various sources, part of Texas HB 72 which mandated small classes, a major caveat on Texas data, and a discussion about the Black-White test score gap. (RT)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Practitioners; Researchers
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.
Authoring Institution: N/A