Challenge to those who think class size does not matter

Posted on May 20, 2011

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Many people are now arguing that class size does not matter. There is some research that shows this. One of the problems with such research is that the outcome variables of almost all of those studies are standardized tests that tend to measure fairly low-level skills and do not accurately measure the higher-order thinking skills we are trying to ensure that all students obtain.

What do the rich do in Texas and elsewhere?

Send their kids to private schools with very small class sizes.

So, here is the challenge: Use the website below to look at the most exclusive private schools in the major metro areas and look at their student-teacher ratios. VERY, VERY LOW.

Some of the student-teacher ratios are below 10. We may have some rural schools that have such a low ratio, but only because so few students and teachers are in such schools. And in rural schools, teachers have to teach all subjects. In private schools for the wealthy, the schools don’t have teachers assigned to teach out of their area of expertise. The parents would never allow it.

IF CLASS SIZE DOES NOT MATTER, HOW COME THE WEALTHY AND POWERFUL SEND THEIR KIDS TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS WITH VERY SMALL CLASS SIZES?

http://www.privateschoolreview.com/state_private_schools/stateid/TX

Here are the ones I found in Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth:

Wow–and most of these schools are high schools or K-12. Wouldn’t you like to have your child enrolled in a high school with a teacher that has a Master’s degree or PhD in a classroom with only 10 students? I know I would!!! Why isn’t that what we are striving for in our poorest schools?? Why do only the very wealthy have access to such experiences???

HB 400 would increase class sizes for the non-wealthy students, thus creating an even larger gap between the haves and have-nots. And ironically, some research suggests class size matters most for poor students, yet HB 400 would simply increase class sizes for poor students and allow the wealthy to have their own exclusive schools where students get more individual attention. Texas should be pouring more money into schools to reduce class sizes for the very poor, not cutting funding.

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