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ERIC Number: EJ798173
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-0276-8739
A Strategic Response to Class Size Reduction: Combination Classes and Student Achievement in California
Sims, David
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, v27 n3 p457-478 Sum 2008
The California class size reduction program provided schools with cash rewards for K-3 classes of 20 or fewer students. I show how program rules made it possible for schools to save money by using mixed-grade classes to meet class size reduction obligations while maintaining larger average class sizes. I also show that this smoothing of students across grades is associated with a significant test score gap for certain second and third grade students. My estimates suggest that class size reduction may lead to lower test scores for students placed in combination classes. Alternative explanations of teacher experience and credentialing changes cannot explain the test score pattern. This result spotlights both the underappreciated role of age heterogeneity in classroom learning and the difficulty of replicating the success of policy experiments in statewide reform. (Contains 6 tables, 5 figures and 20 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Grade 2; Grade 3; Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California