Spotlight Report

Honey, I Shrunk the Class!: How Reducing Class Size Fails to Raise Student Achievement

posted on in Education (PreK-12), Spending & Taxes

In November, the State Board of Education released the final report of the High Priority Schools Initiative, a four-year, $23 million class-size reduction program targeting low-performing and low-income elementary schools. The report offered no statistical evidence that smaller class sizes raised student achievement. Between the first and final year of the program, fewer schools met their state ABC growth targets and even fewer made Adequate Yearly Progress under the federal No Child Left Behind law. Reduced class sizes failed to significantly increase student performance on state reading assessments. In the future, legislators and policymakers should not fund class-size initiatives because of their expediency or popularity but because they produce measurable gains in student achievement.

Dr. Stoops is the director of the Center for Effective Education. Before joining the Locke Foundation in 2005, he worked as the program assistant for the Child Welfare Education Programs at the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work. He… ...

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We are North Carolina’s Most Trusted and Influential Source of Common Sense. The John Locke Foundation was created in 1990 as an independent, nonprofit think tank that would work “for truth, for freedom, and for the future of North Carolina.” The Foundation is named for John Locke (1632-1704), an English philosopher whose writings inspired Thomas Jefferson and the other Founders.

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