Report Roundup: Does Classroom Size Matter?

John Kelly
December 1, 2001

American Psychological Society

Examining the work of the Department of Education, as well as the success of state initiatives of varying scope, researchers sought to estimate the effect of reduced class size on academic performance. Three key initiatives were examined: pilot projects in Wisconsin and Tennessee and a statewide initiative in California. The Wisconsin and Tennessee experiments, done on a smaller scale and targeting schools in low-income areas, proved successful in raising performance levels, particularly among minority students. However, California’s $1.5 billion-a-year effort to reduce class size for the youngest students was applied throughout the state and yielded smaller improvements. The study recommends seeking cheaper alternatives before attempting a reduction initiative that could “dwarf the price of alternative schemes.” Three pages. Free online. American Psychological Society, 1010 Vermont Ave. NW, Ste. 1100, Washington, DC 20005. (202) 783-2077.

Kelly, John. "Does Classroom Size Matter?" Report Roundup. Youth Today, December 2001/January 2002, p. 14-15.

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