Skip to comments.Small classes aren't a cure-all (In California)
Posted on 03/31/2007 4:12:50 AM PDT by shrinkermd
SANTA ANA SCHOOLS deserve a public spanking if, as alleged, they created phantom classes to pull the wool over state officials' eyes. The idea was to make it look as though there were no more than 20 students per teacher in the primary grades so the schools could receive the full $16 million they were entitled to from the state for reducing class size.
As lowdown as such a trick would be, it sheds light on one of the more rigid and expensive regulations governing public education in California. The decade-old class-size reduction program was a poorly planned experiment that is no longer useful. It ought to end, with the state giving the money to local districts to spend in whatever ways will best benefit their students...
...There is still no evidence that the multibillion-dollar investment in small primary classes has made more than an incremental difference in achievement. Well-intentioned and popular as it has been, the class-size reduction program represents another restriction on schools that need to be more creative, not less. When state officials bemoan the lack of innovation on the local level, while also requiring public schools to comply with a state Education Code that is measured in feet, not inches, it rings a little hollow.
Instead of dictating how every dollar is spent, the state should allow school districts to use the money from this program as they see fit and then the state should hold them accountable for their students' achievement. If the districts fail to spend the money wisely, they would face sanctions from the state, possible takeover and a drubbing of the local school board at the next election.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
I am SO sick of this crap. There were @50 kids in my classes in elementary school and , as near as I could tell, we all left knowing how to read and do basic math. Give me a break. Lazy parents and lazy teachers are in cahoots to raise a nation of idiots.
I'm sure you all spoke and could understand english, too.
But many of us came from parents who did not speak English well.
Even though, your parents came here to be American, they were grateful to be here and were going to do their best to make sure you and your siblings took advantage of the opportunities.
My grandfather came from Italy at 15, taught himself english, he married my grandmother who was born here but was also Italian. They could speak to eachother but, Italian was not spoken to the kids. English only.
And there lies much of the problem.
Teaching is the only occupation that actually has negative productivity gains per employee.
Same with my mother-in-law. She is Japanese, married a US Army guy, had kids, etc. etc. but never taught/spoke to their kids (my husband, his brother, & two sisters) in Japanese.
('Cause he would have made out like a bandit in the 1980s & 90s if he spoke fluent Japanese)
Speaking as a teacher - basically smaller class sizes are useless unless you can get a dramatic change.
If you could get classes of 10 instead of 30, you'd probably get improvement - but 20 instead of 30 just doesn't make a real difference.
And it increases the number of teachers you need by 50%, which means you have to lower the standards you use to employ them.
How many boatloads of administrators, assistants to administrators, over the top gymnasiums, and Taj Mahal type building structures is it going to take before people admit that schools WILL NOT spend the money in ways in "best benefit" their students? They WILL NOT and they NEVER WILL. They will spend it ON THEMSELVES, as they've always done.
I just read (I didn't save the reference) that made a good argument that the important point is not small classes, which in the study made no different, but smaller schools. The optimum size was 1,200 or less. I forgot the minimum number.
It's failing here in florida also. Feels good though. That's what counts.
My class size was over 45 every year in grade school.
It was 35-45 in high school. There were no "classroom helpers". There were "special needs" children.
Nearly all of us graduated, and a huge proportion ended up going to college.
Small class sizes are, if anything, detrimental to education. Students are discouraged from working to better themselves, whether in language or understanding. Self reliance is the most important skill you can be taught in school, and large classes encourage that.
When I was in grade school we had 30 or more kids in a class. The schools were better run back then; the kids were disciplined -- by teachers; and we got a good education. All that small class sizes has accomplished is more jobs for teachers and administrators. It's been little more than a scam perpetrated by the teachers' unions.
One more thing for which we can thank Pete Wilson.