Straight Talk

HONEST talk about local issues!

Small Class Sizes … Good idea?

size-mattersWe are currently in the process of crafting Town and School budgets across the Region One School District.

As Boards grapple with containing costs while student populations continue to decline, they will also be required to face parents who believe (almost religiously) that small class sizes are the equivalent of better educated students.

Simple research will reveal that there are varying schools of thought about this issue.

While noting that the Cornwall Consolidated School has classes as small as seven (7), The Waterbury Republican American in a report from the Cornwall Board of Education Meeting (2/22/12 edition) quotes CCS Principal Michael Croft on this issue …

A group that small doesn’t have a large amount of social options when a child is looking for someone to play with at re­cess, or have lunch with, or “when someone is looking for a friend,” he said. “Small classes limit the quality of a student’s experiences.”

Small classes also don’t af­ford children the diversity of academic peers when they’re looking for a partner to work with.

Croft said the number gets even smaller when looking at gender, because in the elemen­tary schools boys tend to want to be with other boys, and girls with other girls.

While these observations may not be popular in this region, they are certainly valid and worthy of great consideration by all Region One Boards of Education.

I commend Principal Croft and hope that others will give consideration to the thoughts of this obviously intelligent educator/administrator.

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2 thoughts on “Small Class Sizes … Good idea?

  1. janet lynn on said:

    With classes that small they can’t even break up in teams to have any type of games, even when combining two classes together. Teachers tell me it is not a healthy or beneficial thing for the students. Kids learn from other kids.

  2. Good post Mike. I haven’t seen much research indicating a correlation between small class sizes and student achievement. Teachers love small classes because, invariably, they’re easier to manage. But, as the Cornwall principal can attest, they’re not always best for students.

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