ERIC Number: ED465003
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
The Lessons of Class Size Reduction. First in America Special Report.
Thompson, Charles L.; Cunningham, Elizabeth K.
This report summarizes research on the effects of class size reduction, outlines lessons learned from large-scale class size reduction initiatives in California and Wisconsin, and draws out implications of the research and lessons for class size reduction in North Carolina. The evidence that smaller classes promote increased learning is strongest in grades K-3. The longer students are in small classes, the more they benefit. Small classes help minority and low-income students the most. Teachers in smaller classes give students more individual attention and have fewer discipline problems. Though research in California and Wisconsin has found positive results of small class size, the states faced several barriers to reducing class size, including a shortage of high quality teachers; lack of adequate facilities, equipment, and materials; and lack of sufficient funding. Though North Carolina faces similar problems, it has undertaken such steps as scholarships for prospective teachers, alternative teacher certification, funding for additional teachers, an aggressive reduction program for the lowest-performing and highest poverty schools, and an outside evaluation of the effectiveness of class size reduction initiatives. (Contains 25 references.) (SM)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Class Size, Educational Change, Educational Finance, Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Low Income Groups, Minority Group Children, Small Classes, Teacher Competencies, Teacher Shortage
First in America Project, North Carolina Education Research Council, P.O. Box 2688, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2688. Tel: 919-843-8127; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.firstinamerica.northcarolina.edu.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, Inc., Winston-Salem, NC.
Authoring Institution: North Carolina Education Research Council, Chapel Hill.
Identifiers - Location: California; North Carolina; Wisconsin