In an opinion piece published by the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peter Smagorinsky, a professor of English education at the University of Georgia, questions the value of recent policy reports showing that increases in class sizes do not have a detrimental effect on student test scores. Most people don’t go into teaching, he argues, to raise standardized test scores. Instead, they want to provide meaningful learning experiences and “make a difference in kids lives"—things that requires optimal working conditions:
One working condition that matters is having class loads that enable the sorts of rich teaching and learning that make the day feel worthwhile for students and teachers and that make working outside class manageable.
The superficial teaching and learning that follow from overcrowded classrooms will never attract or help retain the great teachers that these great policymakers envision.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.