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ERIC Number: EJ788761
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-0009-4056
Class Size: A Battle between Accountability and Quality Instruction
Januszka, Cynthia; Dixon-Krauss, Lisbeth
Childhood Education, v84 n3 p167 Spr 2008
A substantial amount of controversy surrounds the issue of class size in public schools. Parents and teachers are on one side, touting the benefits of smaller class sizes (e.g., increased academic achievement, greater student-teacher interaction, utilization of more innovative teaching strategies, and a decrease in discipline problems). On the other side, many legislators and policymakers doubt the benefits, claiming that smaller classes produce minimal results while incurring large costs. Those who oppose decreasing class sizes believe that funds could be more wisely spent on programs that show greater benefits. This argument is framed between two opposing perspectives: accountability versus quality instruction. Policy analysts refer to accountability as a cost-benefit analysis of a program. Cost-benefit analyses are often used to examine education policy issues with a focus on school administration, finance, and leadership. Another form of analysis, experimental analysis, tests the integrity of a policy. Experimental analyses are commonly used to examine school curricular issues focusing on pedagogy and student achievement. Experimental analysis requires random assignment of subjects to experimental and control groups, a treatment for the experimental group, and an evaluation to determine which group performed better. This article addresses the feasibility of reducing class size by reviewing the literature, using experimental and cost-benefit analyses. The experimental analysis includes a review of class size studies and their application on large samples. The cost-benefit analysis examines class size policies, initiatives, and costs involved for one state--Florida.
Association for Childhood Education International. 17904 Georgia Avenue Suite 215, Olney, MD 20832. Tel: 800-423-3563; Tel: 301-570-2111; Fax: 301-570-2212; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida