There have been some recent efforts to minimize the importance of how class size affects student achievement.
I thought it might be useful to bring together some good related resources. Feel free to suggest others.
Here are my choices for The Best Resources For Learning About How Class Size Does Matter:
7 Class size myths — and the truth is a guest post by Leonie Haimson at The Washington Post.
The tragic loss of reduced class size by Delaine Eastin is an op-ed at The San Francisco Chronicle.
Is Class Size Really That Irrelevant? is a post by Claus von Zastrow at Learning First.
“Does Class Size Matter?” is a nice review of research on the topic by Abner Oakes.
“Class Size Crunch” is an article in Scholastic Administrator that has a fair amount of good information.
My very humble contribution is a post titled Class Size DOES Matter.
In response to Bill Gates’ rather bizarre and tortured call for increased class sizes recently, several writers have posted useful resources:
Can We Improve Education By Increasing Class Size? comes from GOOD.
An Open Letter to Bill Gates: Higher Class Sizes will Drive Teachers Out by Anthony Cody at Ed Week.
On Bill Gates, Class Size, and American Parents is by Dana Goldstein. I’ve got questions about her statistics, but she does make some interesting points.
Expert Witness comes from Nancy Flanagan at Ed Week.
Here is a study demonstrating the benefits of class size reduction in eighth grade.
The misleading data and debate on class size is by Joanne Yatvin and appeared in The Washington Post.
Wealthy Amateur Advises Decision-makers about Class Size is by Larry Cuban.
Why Do So Many Ordinarily Thoughtful Columnists “Lose It” When They Write About Schools?
More expensive than what? A quick comment on CAP’s CSR report is from School Finance 101.
More Clap Trap on Class Size From the Gates-funded CAP by Leonie Haimson appeared in the Huffington Post.
Class Size:What Research Says and What It Means for State Policy is a report from The National Education Policy Center.
The New York Times had a good article about class size headlined Tight Budgets Mean Squeeze in Classrooms. Even more interesting, though, were the 155 comments on the New York Times Learning Network site from students about the article.
Throwing students at classrooms is by Aaron Pallas.
Does Class Size Count? is by Sara Mosle and appeared in The New York Times (don’t miss the comments).
Rich Parents Love Small Class Sizes is by Dana Goldstein.
Class Size in Japan, Korea, and America is by Emmanuel Parello.
Los Angeles School Board Member Steven Zimmer talks about why class size matters in this video:
Dana Goldstein had me as a guest, along with Matthew Chingos from the Brookings Institution, on a Slate podcast of Schooled: Does Class Size Matter?
I think it’s a fairly interesting discussion — you be the judge…
Class size matters a lot, research shows is from The Washington Post.
When it comes to classes, small is better is the title of a report on a meta-analysis.
Here’s a new meta-analysis on class size studies.
Quote Of The Day: “the relationship between class size and effective teaching”
The Effectiveness of Class Size Reduction is a new report from The National Education Policy Center.
NYC class size limits could boost learning — but in practice, they often don’t. A new study explains why. is from Chalkbeat.
Statistic Of The Day: To The Surprise Of No Teacher, New Study Finds That Class Size Matters
Why I was Shaking My Head at Betsy DeVos is by Anthony Cody. And here’s the viral clip of him:
The guy behind @BestyDeVosEd is all of us when she said students may learn better in larger classes. 🤦🏾♀️
More #BetsyFailed moments ⬇️ https://t.co/PMZLfYyPUh pic.twitter.com/kzaEIdlDMc
— NEA (@NEAToday) March 30, 2019
How much of a difference does the number of kids in a classroom make? is from The Conversation.
Class Size Reduction, Teacher Quality, and Academic Achievement in California Public Elementary Schools is from The Public Policy Institute of California.
There are reasonable arguments about whether reducing class size is best use of scarce resources, but evidence suggests that smaller class sizes produce better results eg https://t.co/bla6wEGui4, https://t.co/nS596KsqeV
— Matt Barnum (@matt_barnum) February 3, 2021
Class Size Reduction Is About More Than Just Increasing Test Scores
So many people have internalized the idea that California’s class size reduction in the ’90s “backfired” even though it seemed to have led to short and medium term achievement gains https://t.co/j5NxC0aldj pic.twitter.com/pdI4wh0PUv
— Matt Barnum (@matt_barnum) February 2, 2022
Smaller class sizes (for kindergartners in Quebec) produced improved test scores and non-cognitive skills — the biggest gains would come from large class size reductions targeted disadvantaged students. https://t.co/K1EgMvxME0 pic.twitter.com/81vzMpQ3sz
— Matt Barnum (@matt_barnum) April 27, 2022
Here’s an interesting series of pieces related to a NY Times article on class size reduction:
Class Sizes Set to Shrink in New York City Schools, but at What Cost? is from The NY Times.
The (Not A) Mystery Of Class Size is from Peter Greene.
The tell with the “class size is not cost effective” line is that the purportedly more cost effective polices are not identified. https://t.co/Q4HoaoF2J1 pic.twitter.com/nZRnJnPugb
— Matt Barnum (@matt_barnum) June 3, 2022
you and I just differ on this. To me we have a decent number of US studies showing some effect, eg https://t.co/aOK9PwPpWh, https://t.co/bvBxQYGEjq, https://t.co/4M0NLFZOdX, https://t.co/l7QrK3K75g, https://t.co/nvKiaaMlx3
— Matt Barnum (@matt_barnum) June 3, 2022
Does class size really matter? A Chalkbeat look at the research. is from Chalkbeat
Crucially (and counterintuitively) the short-term effects of smaller classes were better predictors of long-term benefits than the medium term effects. In other words: don't write off an intervention because of test score fadeout! pic.twitter.com/sVrZxCJ7Nf
— Matt Barnum (@matt_barnum) February 10, 2023
The only randomized study of smaller classes.https://t.co/8cyyusesFq pic.twitter.com/AZmlfv69N3
— Matt Barnum (@matt_barnum) March 27, 2023
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