One of my pet peeves is that people demand that public schools do a better job in educating studentsthen their elected officials pull the rug out from under any effort to do so.
Case in point: After years of investing in smaller class sizes, state policymakers are giving up on the effort because of severe budget cuts.
Now, I’ve always been a bit skeptical of the class-size movement. Although there is research to suggest smaller class sizes are beneficial, my thinking is that some of those benefits are achievable with more careful classroom assignmentsbasing class size on the needs of each child and the capabilities of individual teachers.
To me, shrinking class sizes to some arbitrary number is no guarantee of student academic gains. If I’m wrong, of course, then today’s policy decisions to raise class sizes are all the more wrong-headed.
And that, I suppose, is my real point: If you invest millions of dollars and millions of hours in administrative time to improve student learning, what does it say about your commitment to school reform when you give up on that investment because times are tough?