Think tank takes aim at class size reduction
This time the criticism for across-the-board class-size reduction comes from a left-leaning think tank, the Center for American Progress. In a position paper out this morning called "The False Promise of Class-Size Reduction," Harvard and Brookings Institution researcher Matthew M. Chingos writes that class-size reduction policies like Florida's are not cost-effective and that a better approach "would be to let individual schools use small classes as a response to very specific circumstances."
"An individual principal may decide, for example, that a smaller class makes sense for an inexperienced teacher who needs support in developing skills managing a classroom with several students with behavior problems," he writes. "At the same time, the principal may want to assign a larger class to a highly effective veteran teacher, perhaps with some extra pay to compensate the teacher for the extra work required. Of course, principals would need to be given the flexibility to make such carefully considered arrangements."