Long rant to make my point I suppose. But at the least class size is going to increase. Let's say districts find away to get coverage for all existing classes. Let's say the budget passes with sports included. Class size is still going to increase. So how much will that affect students? Will the changes negatively impact them?
Here, here, here and here are summary reports on the research that has been done. Most of the research is actually more that a decade old. Some goes back as far as the 1970s. I didn't see much recent research. I figure 1) the research already done was very thorough, especially Tennessee's STAR and 2) class sizes steadily declined during the Roaring 2000s- class size wasn't much of an issue.
This is what I learned...
- Class size reduction (CSR) at the earliest grades (K-3) raises student achievement.
- The results for CSR are most clear at the K-1 levels, less so at the 2-3 levels.
- Class sizes should fall as low as 13-17 students per class, certainly below 20.
- CSR for 2 or more consecutive years will have the most lasting effects.
- Minorities and low-income students benefit the most.
- Adding aides has no positive effect.
- CSR may be expensive upfront. Really important right now.
- What effect will early CSR have on secondary education?
- What would CSR do if implemented at the secondary level?
- How much the researchers took teacher quality into account? Would better teachers influence the results?