Pandemic relief money is flowing to class-size reduction but research evidence for it isn’t strong

By: | June 7, 2021

Cutting class size appears to be increasingly popular as school districts figure out how to spend their $190 billion in federal money for coronavirus relief, according to media reports. Georgetown University professor Marguerite Roza tracks school spending and she’s also seeing a new 2021 trend of schools’ hiring more teachers in order to reduce class sizes.

Parents and teachers may like smaller classes but the research evidence for spending money on them isn’t strong.

Until the 1980s, no one had designed a good experiment to see what happens to student achievement when you reduce class size. Earlier research on the relationship between class size and achievement was inconclusive. Sometimes students in small classrooms scored higher than students in large classrooms and sometimes they didn’t.

Read more from The Hechinger Report.

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