Size Matters, or Does it? - Amid budget crisis, parents and
teachers fight for small classes. Some studies dissent.
Here are some key studies that are
often cited about the merits of reducing class sizes:
• CSR Research Consortium: A four-year study of California's
program found that it is hard to prove if smaller class sizes were the
most likely cause of overall hikes in test scores in elementary
grades. Other factors, like teacher quality, could have affected the
achievement more. www.classize.org/
• Public Policy Institute of California: A study of six of
California's largest districts found that the class-size-reduction
program affected classes differently. In five districts, most schools
saw test score increases. But in Los Angeles Unified, mostly
low-income students had slightly lower test scores after class sizes
were lowered. www.ppic.org/
• Vital Research: Los Angeles Unified hired this firm to study
class-size reduction, finding larger test-score gains among third
graders. The researchers did not review scores of English learners.
• WestEd studies: The nonprofit research, development and service
agency group looked at results of several reports and studies.
• Tennessee's Project Star report: A four-year study found test-score
gains among younger grades of students in smaller classes. But the
classes were smaller than California's, and the state has few English