Right Sizing the Classroom 1

Right-Sizing the Classroom: Making the Most of Great Teachers

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Released in November 2013. This study, published by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, addresses the issue of class size and teacher-student ratios—with a policy recommendation. “Public schooling in America suffers from a triple problem that a single policy solution might solve: 1) Our best teachers aren’t paid enough, 2) not enough kids benefit from great teachers, and 3) too many are stuck with weak teachers. This paper describes—and demonstrates the value of—a change in policy that could address all three issues at once, and could be done at no additional cost to taxpayers. Following this route, however, means reversing position on a widely popular—but pricey and none too effective—approach to “educational improvement”: class size reduction. Instead of trying to keep classes small, we should be leveraging our existing teacher talent by enlarging the classes taught by our best instructors—and compensating these excellent teachers for the extra work involved.”

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