ERIC Number: ED464394
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Feb-29
Class Size: An Amendment Reflecting Further Research on State Policies.
Mitchell, Douglas E.; Mitchell, Ross E.
This report, by reviewing the contents of specific state statutes and regulations, extends the discussion of actions by state legislatures and education agencies to reduce class size. Data are drawn from primary sources and from email or telephone interviews with state department of education officials. Following the design used in the original "Class Size" paper by the same authors, class size variability along three major dimensions is highlighted: (1) the specific class size targeted; (2) the extent to which class-size policies are limited to specific groups of children; and (3) the extent to which class-size reduction is driven by funding incentives or regulatory mandates. The study is organized into two sections: the three basic dimensions of class-size policy are reviewed, and two class-size policymaking periods are compared and contrasted. The first concerns several state-level actions associated with the post-recession reforms of the early to middle 1980s. These policies were responses to a sharp rise in political anxiety articulated in the 1983 report "A Nation at Risk." Following a hiatus in the early 1990s, there was a revival of state-level education investment in class-size reduction beginning about 1992. Policies during this period were strongly influenced by published reports evaluating class-size initiatives adopted during the 1980s. Attention focuses on policy adoptions affecting the early elementary grades (K-3), where the vast majority of state interest has been concentrated. (Contains 16 references.) (DFR)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A