chapter  8
Does class size (still) matter?
ByJEREMY D. FINN, MICHELE E. SHANAHAN
Pages 25

New York City schools have the largest class sizes in more than a decade. (Class Size Matters, 2014)

Fairfax schools chief calls for $96 million in budget cuts, proposal increases class sizes. (Shapiro, Washington Post, 9 January 2014)

In Georgia, after state funding for schools was cut by nearly $1billion, the State Board of Education voted to lift all class size limits. (Flannery, National Education Association (NEA), www.nea.org/tools/40884.htm)

In California, elementary school class sizes grew to levels not seen in more than a decade. (Montgomery, The California Report, November 2009)

Fifty-four percent of school principals surveyed responded that they increased class sizes for the 2011-12 school year and 57 percent anticipated doing so for 2012-13. (Ellerson, American Association of School Administrators, March 2012)

The effects of the State’s budget crisis are showing up inside packed classrooms in Scottsdale and Fountain Hills, …. the two districts had larger class sizes in every grade, including kindergarten classes of 27 to 30 children. (Faller, The Arizona Republic, August 2010)

These are only a sampling of quotations from the popular press in the US over recent years. The national trend toward increased class sizes was highlighted in the New York Times (Dillion, 2011):

Millions of public school students across the nation are seeing their class sizes swell because of budget cuts and teacher lay-offs, undermining a decades-long push by parents, administrators and policy makers to shrink class sizes. Over the past two years, California, Georgia, Nevada, Ohio, Utah and Wisconsin have loosened legal restrictions on class size (and others are following) … In New York City alone, average elementary sizes have grown from 21.8 to 23.7 since 2008 (6 March 2011, p. A1).