Benefits of Smaller Class Sizes – N. Western

Western, Nicholas. Letter. Connection Newspapers. “Benefit of Smaller Class Sizes.” February 1, 2012. http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/news/2012/feb/01/letter-benefits-smaller-class-sizes/

A high school sophomore writes about the benefits of smaller class sizes including increased student learning, better student-teacher relationships, and school morale.

According to the Center for Public Education, Wisconsin’s Student Achievement Guarantee in Education program saw that “students in grades 1-3 in SAGE classrooms scored significantly higher…than students in traditional classrooms.” In addition, students in the smaller classes had lower average pretest scores, but showed significantly higher scores on the post-test. Tennessee’s Student/Teacher Achievement Ratio found that gains in student achievement from classes of 13 to 17 students were typically twice as large for poor and African-American students, historically underachieving demographics. In addition, the gains for all students persisted for years after said students were placed back in regular-sized classrooms. Florida has also seen great improvements in student achievement because of constitutionally-required class size limits that limit classes for grades K through 3 of 18, 3 through 8 of 22, and 9 through 12 of 25. Florida increased its NAEP score by seven points in fourth grade reading between 2003 and 2011, while Virginia increased it by only three points in the same period.

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