Published Online: May 17, 2011
Published in Print: May 18, 2011, as Class Size

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Class Size

"Class Size: What Research Says and What it Means for State Policy"

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Only very large reductions in class size—cuts on the order of seven to 10 students per class—are likely to lead to significant long-term effects on student achievement, a new research synthesis says.

The review by the Brookings Institution’s Brown Center on Education Policy notes that while 24 states, in recent decades, have either mandated class-size reductions or offered incentives for schools to shrink classes, many of those initiatives may not be worth the cost because the average class-size reductions aren’t large enough to make much difference in student achievement.

The analysis by the Washington-based think tank also points to research suggesting that other improvement efforts, such as cross-age tutoring or computer-aided instruction, may yield more bang for the buck.

Vol. 30, Issue 31, Page 5

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