Policy attacks on class size
EdWeek republished this article from the Dallas Morning News detailing the attacks on class size in Texas. The article seems to be filled with the ideas of “experts”, legislators, and those supporting faulty “research” in an attempt to rhetorically minimize the effects of class room size on student learning.
Due to my curiosity on my students’ views, I read this article with a class I was working with yesterday morning. We then took an informal verbal survey and, overwhelmingly, students recommended lower class sizes as a main factor in any attempt to help them achieve and learn more. When I brought up the question of teacher quality in relation to class room size they quickly pointed out, in disapproval, that the article quoted a Texas superintendent who says,
A bad teacher with 15 students is just as bad as with 25 students.
Students in the class were frustrated that the article did not talk about the effect of class room size on teachers who are, in a few students’ words, “…mediocre, in terms of quality, going up to very good, and excellent.” The students, in conversation, doubted that a class size change between 15 and 25 students is negligible, even with a struggling teacher. Several students also voiced concern that this could be used to “get the wedge in the door” and start increasing class sizes beyond just a few students.
This fits into a worsening national environment in regards to funding anything public right now coupled with viscious attacks on workers’ rights. With austerity budget bullies licking their lips and sharpening their knives, the gloves are clearly off in public education .