Giving the most-effective teachers in a district just a few more students to instruct could potentially improve student outcomes while controlling personnel costs, says an analysis released last week.
is based on data from one growing Texas school district, Cypress-Fairbanks near Houston. Analysts Marguerite Roza and Amanda Works, both of the Eduonomics Lab at Georgetown University in Washington, estimate that if each teacher in the district’s top performance quartile were willing to take on three additional students—raising their class size from about 22 to 25 at the elementary level—the district could save over $11 million in salary and benefits. The district could return the savings to teachers in the form of a bonus of about $8,000 apiece.
In all, the paper concludes, such a scenario would help improve access to effective teachers without increasing costs.
A version of this article appeared in the March 04, 2015 edition of Education Week as Teacher Compensation