Effects of School and Class Size on the Quality of Students' Education

2106 WordsJul 11, 20189 Pages
Introduction Education is fundamental in today’s modern society and is the subject of endless debates across the United States. Recently, it has risen to the top of both state and national agendas (Finn, 2002). One reform movement currently being debated is the effects of school and class size on the quality of student education. Advocates of smaller classes argue students learn more when there are fewer students in the classroom. Many studies are conducted to try to prove this theory. Although some studies show positive results, the many failed experiments led opposers of class size reduction to believe that there is no link among class size and student learning. (Bell, Crandall, & Parnell, 2009). Many studies have been inconclusive,…show more content…
Another successful study that reinforces the findings provided by STAR is SAGE, or Student Achievement Guarantee in Education. This was a five-year long study that began in Wisconsin in 1996 where the poverty level was at 30%. Although, SAGE targeted less than 20 schools, the purpose of this study was to increase the academic achievement of children living in poverty. Just like STAR, SAGE used Kindergarten to third graders and shrunk the classes to under 18 students. Researchers concluded that small classes benefit everyone, especially disadvantaged youth. Smaller classes allow the teacher to focus more one-on-one with a struggling student and lowered the drop-out rate of students, significantly. In each study, it clearly showed that disadvantaged children, those with learning disabilities or living in poverty showed greatest effects. Stunningly enough, researchers found that students who were in a small-sized classroom in the early grades went to college, got married, and bought houses at a higher rate than those who were in larger classrooms. Currently in the United States, policymakers and education researchers are looking for ways to fairly distribute resources to bridge the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students. (Ehrenberg, Brewer, Gamoran, & Willms, 2001). California’s Initiative The government, school districts, and more than half of United States citizens have sponsored class size reduction programs (Finn, 2002). The issue
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