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HOUSE EDUCATION INTERIM STUDY OCTOBER 16,2012. HB 1017 Class Size Limits passed in 1990 Limits class sizes to 20 in elementary Allows 140 student load.

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Presentation on theme: "HOUSE EDUCATION INTERIM STUDY OCTOBER 16,2012. HB 1017 Class Size Limits passed in 1990 Limits class sizes to 20 in elementary Allows 140 student load."— Presentation transcript:

1 HOUSE EDUCATION INTERIM STUDY OCTOBER 16,2012

2 HB 1017 Class Size Limits passed in 1990 Limits class sizes to 20 in elementary Allows 140 student load in high school Exempts courses such as PE, band and choir

3 Surrounding States Texas School district may not enroll more than 22 students in grade K-4 classes. School district may apply to the commissioner for an exemption if the limit poses an undue hardship. Arkansas Early childhood education programs: no more than 10 students in a classroom or no more than 20 students and a qualified adult aide. Kindergarten: no more than 21 students in a classroom; no more than 22 with a one-half-time instructional aide. Average student/teacher ratio for grades 1-3, no more than 23 students per teacher and no more than 25 students per teacher in any classroom; for grades 4-6, no more than 25 students per teacher and no more than 28 in any classroom; for grades 7-12, an individual class may not exceed 30 students. New Mexico Individual class load for elementary teachers may not exceed 20 students for kindergarten. Any teacher in kindergarten with a class load of students is entitled to the assistance of an educational assistant. Maximums for grades: (1-3): 22 when averaged among 1-3 grades; (4-6): 24 when averaged among 4-6 grades; (7-8): 27 for teachers of required English courses; (9-12):30 for teachers of required English courses.

4 Oklahoma Exemptions 85% of maximum allowable bonds Collecting the maximum allowable millage Lack of classrooms

5 Impact on Student Achievement Three Major Studies Tennessee Project Star: The biggest and most credible of those studies, Tennessee’s statewide Student/Teacher Achievement Ratio, or STAR, project, begun in the late 1970s, found that the learning gains students made in classes of 13 to 17 students persisted long after the students moved back into average-size classes (HEROS, 2011). What’s more, the Tennessee researchers found poor and African- American students appeared to reap the greatest learning gains in smaller classes. After kindergarten, the gains black students made in smaller classes were typically twice as large as those for whites. Follow-up studies through the years have found the students who had been in small classes in their early years had better academic and personal outcomes throughout their school years and beyond (Krueger, 2001; Sparks, 2011).STAR Wisconsin’s SAGE Study: Likewise, a 2001 evaluation of the Student Achievement Guarantee in Education, or SAGE, class size reduction program by researchers at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee found that a five-year-old program of class-size reduction in Wisconsin resulted in higher achievement for children living in poverty. Research from Columbia University Teachers College in New York showed the context of class-size reduction can affect its success in improving student achievement (Ready, 2008). Similarly, Charles M. Achilles, one of the original principal researchers on the STAR study, has said researchers and policymakers will have difficulty replicating the improvements seen in the STAR study without including key elements of that program Students in smaller classes 1-3 scored significantly higher than those in larger classes. Gains for African American students were greater than those of white students. Bureau of Economic Research Study: Two independent methods for using population variation were used in this study, which found that reductions in class size have no effect on student achievement. No evidence was found that class size reductions are more effective in schools that contain high concentrations of low income students or African-American students.

6 Brookings Study Many of these positions were filled by teachers without certification or prior teaching experience. Other positions were filled by experienced teachers who switched grades or schools. Jepsen and Rivkin carried out a sophisticated analysis to examine the influence of both the class-size reduction and the changes in the teacher workforce. They found positive effects for class-size reduction that are about half as large as those found in Tennessee. At the same time they found that increases in the numbers of new and not-fully-certified teachers offset much of these gains. In other words, students who ended up in the classrooms of teachers new to their classrooms and grades suffered academically from the teachers’ inexperience by almost the same amount as they benefited from being in a smaller class. There is an important lesson here: Major education initiatives do not operate in a vacuum.

7 Brookings Study rs/2011/5/11%20class%20size%20whitehurst%20chingos/ 0511_class_size_whitehurst_chingos.pdf

8 Conclusions The majority of studies do show an increase in student achievement in smaller classes The latest research indicates that the most important element isn’t class size but a highly effective teacher The major obstacle to lowering class sizes is costs


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