Making Class Size Reduction Work: Stories from Californias Public Schools.Report as inadecuate

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This report details the impact of Class Size Reduction (CSR) on six school districts in California. The schools were chosen because they were typical of the changing demographics that affect almost all the state's districts. Data were gathered from interviews with administrators and teachers in the Spring of 1997. Results show that some of the most difficult challenges these districts faced were one-time occurrences: finding qualified teachers on short notice, when to make the transition in year-round schools, and finding enough portable classrooms. Long-term problems included an exhausted teacher pool of qualified candidates; the lack of space in schools; the extra burden on administrators who have to evaluate and lead more personnel; confusion over program assessment, such as the lack of initial baseline data that would allow districts to demonstrate the effectiveness of CSR; and inequities created by CSR, such as the extra work required of teachers in higher grades. Despite the problems, there were notable successes: learning environments changed dramatically for the better, working conditions for teachers improved, and a greater sense of community and creativity was exhibited by the schools. Contains 22 references. (RJM)

Descriptors: Case Studies, Class Size, Classroom Environment, Educational Change, Educational Environment, Elementary Education, School Districts, Teacher Student Ratio

Association of California School Administrators, Media Relations Dept., 1517 L Street, Sacramento, CA 95814-4026; phone: (916) 444-3216 (initial copy free).

Author: Lewis, Anne C.


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