Many, many studies have shown class size at this level (22 to 20, 25 to 22) is
not a determinant of academic achievement. It's probably a good thing Utah
doesn't have the money to make this happen, since it would be VERY
expensive and would most likely not result in better academic achievement for
our students.Whew. Let's keep thinking of solutions - this
I taught first grade for five years. My class size varied from 20 to 26. It was
no more difficult to have 26 in the class, if the students were reasonable in
behavior (active, talkative, but responsive to positive reinforcement). If I had
one student with serious behavior problems, it wasn't helpful to have fewer
students. When there is one student, or more with significant issues, that is
what has to be resolved. Certainly, there is a little more time for individual
attention with fewer students, but with proper management that really isn't
an issue. I did not have an assistant in the class. Many years later, I worked
in elementary age classrooms in another state (from Utah) and had more students
with notable behavior problems. That was a far bigger dilemma than having more
students in a classroom, where there were often assistants, who couldn't
deal with the errant behavior either. Bottom line, children who don't
settle into the classroom need help, and most likely in another setting than
At some point in time, the legislature is going to have to fund their desires.
It has been five years since education was funded somewhat adequately. It is
understandable that they are trying to balance the budget and the economy has
taken a hit. Because of that, they should not be placing any more burdens or
demands on schools until they are in a position to fund them adequately. In
many ways the state government behaves like the federal government in that they
both have been issuing unfunded mandates in droves. It is time for the state
legislature to quit messing around with public education so much. They pass
over 100 laws per year making endless and often times contradictory changes.
Teachers must be going absolutely insane with all this madness.
It would be beneficial to:* lessen teacher paper work*
provide more teacher aids* free up time for teachers by eliminating
standardized testing with all its trimmings.* renew some teaching methods
used during the 1930/40/50/60's.* simplify operations, and focus on
teaching.* place more trust in teachers with less micro-managing
The Utah legislature and the people who keep them in power are hypocrites. They
talk about the importance of family and children but it's all lip service.
Utahns want to have big families but they don't want to take responsibilty
for paying for them. Reduce the amount of deductions a family can take too
two. If want our children and our country to prosper we need to start to hold
our citizens responsible for their actions.
I have to disagree with the first two posters. As a teacher there is a limit to
class size & effectiveness. Sadly, many of the new schools aren't
equipped with big enough classrooms to cram full of students. I teach
secondary, where the schools routinely place 42+ students in my classroom and
many times forget there aren't enough desks for each student! I also have
mainstreamed special ed students (roughly 8+ per class) that I am supposed to
give one on one attention to & exceptionally smart students that need
special assignments. Every year they squeeze a few more into my classrooms
& I do my best but there is a breaking point when too many students is just
too many students. Class gets disruptive & I wear a microphone!
Paraprofessional Aides have been cut in recent years (but not the pay or numbers
of the administrators). Utah - Stack 'em deep & teach 'em cheap!
I understand that class size limits are the fad du jour, but studies have
repeatedly shown that class size does not correlate at all with educational
outcomes. Kids that want to learn will learn regardless of how big their class
is, and kids that don't want to learn won't learn regardless of how
small their class is. Money should be spent on parents so they can understand
why they are so important to the educational process of their children, not
How about we cut administrative staff and non-essential staff at the schools.
30 years ago elementary schools had a principal and a secretary to run the
school. Now, there is the Principal, and 3 other people running the school.
Get rid of the 2 extras.Next, get rid of the computer lab
instructor. Have them teach a normal class.Ok, right there I just
aded up to 3 teacher per elementary school.Next, go to the district.
Anybody with a job title "specialist" that is not directly writing
checks or head of the district should be eliminated or else sent back to a
school to teach the kids. In other words, reduce district staff to 1980's
levels.Right now we average 60% of the our tax dollars making it to
classroom instruction, lets push that up to 75% or more.
“Public schools, unlike charter and private schools, are not able to turn
away students once capacity is reached, and the number of students attending
Utah's public schools surpassed 60,000 for the first time in
2012.”This is a significant impact as parents find out in October
that they either can’t afford the alternative school, their students
aren’t able to adjust or other reasons, and then return to the real public
school system. However, the money allotted for that student is not available to
the public school system. This happens more than is advertised. “The bill would provide no additional funds to schools, but schools that
fail to comply would potentially lose out on money they've relied on for
the past 20 years to keep class sizes as low as they currently are.”I see that this would have depleted more dollars than benefitted any school
district. How would this have benefitted charter and private
schools if it was passed? The Governor and his Lieutenant Governor
have been out saying how much they support public education. The legislature
acted the opposite, it appears, as they acted for vouchers. Common sense
Enforcement of laws related to illegal immigration would reduce class sizes.
Brave Sir Robin,Please review your comment that "class size does
not correlate at all with educational outcomes."If that is true
then there is no upper limit. A class of 4, 40 or 400 are all equally good.
No.This is like a ton of other things. There is a range - a sweet
spot (or area). A bit above or a bit below and you don't notice much
difference. But there comes a breaking point.Obviously some of this
has to do with the capacity of the teacher. But there isn't a teacher on
the planet that can handle 50 or 60 young kids and give them the kind of
attention they need.
I will agree with Sir Robin to a point. Give me 100 kids whose parents support
education hold their students accountable and spend time with their children
making sure homework gets done and I will produce great classroom results. Give
me 10 kids whose parents don't care, whose parents don't hold their
children accountable and I will struggle to produce results. Class
size is important because I have never had a class full of kids with great
parents. Students today are less engaged in learning as a group than they were
30 years ago, thus trying to motivate them, discipline them and then if there is
any time left teach them is increasingly difficult especially in a large class.
Brave Sir Robin- studies (research) are often distorted, or made up to bring a
Common sense indicates that class size would matter. Trust your teachers, I
think they would tell you that 40 students is harder than 30 and I just read an
article about classes at Logan HS with 50 plus students. That's insane.
Even if they are AP students. The secondary teacher doesn't have some
undergrad toadie he can pawn off reading his essays for him. I mean
I hear people in my LDS ward complain they have 12 kids in their Sunday school
classes. Well, times that 3 to 4 and you would know what a public school
teacher in Utah faces, not just once a week for 50 minutes but day in and day
out several periods a day. I agree with a lot of what worf said
(sometimes he makes some good points). I also agree that some of these
specialists need to go back teaching either full-time or at least part time to
help ease loads. Heck, even the superintendent and principal(s) could get back
in the classroom for a period or two a day and help out. Utah schools are in
some senses in educational crisis and it's time for all hands on deck.
"Heck, even the superintendent and principal(s) could get back in the
classroom for a period or two a day and help out". Way to go
Howard!I know of a district in Minnesota with no principals.
Teachers rotate that responsibility, and the superintendent works part time.With proper modifications, education would be much more efficient with
smaller class sizes, and higher pay for teachers.
Class size does not matter? I spent my last years as a high school teacher with
45+ students in English classes. Oh, so sad, too bad--we don't have extra
desks to give you. Latecomers sat on the floor and many students just quit
coming (would YOU like to spend 80 minutes on a hard floor?) No way could I
call my job teaching at that point--it was crowd control. Give the schools
enough money to make a real difference to students' educations. Send each
legislator to a school for a WEEK of exploding classes and students and THEN let
them talk about that which they know nothing of.