To the Editor:
It seems obvious that Saul Cooperman has been out of the classroom a bit too long (“Increase Class Size— And Pay Teachers More,” Nov. 2, 2005).
The empirical research may be thin, as he writes, on the effect of smaller class sizes. But any teacher who has taught classes of 45 or more, and has also taught classes of 18 to 25, knows full well that the impact he or she can have on students in the smaller class is dramatically larger.
Teaching is much more than dollar-cost averaging and efficiency. To really reach a child, to really engage a child—especially those that have been disaffected for one reason or another—requires creating a relationship with that child. That is nearly impossible in Mr. Cooperman’s clinical, economically centered calculation. His Commentary is not heretical, just inane.