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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Romney: size does not matter

From the Chalk Face by Tim Slekar

Hey Ed (Schultz),
Keep putting pressure on Romney for his dumb “class size doesn’t matter” statement.  Most advocates of the “class size doesn’t matter” camp only point to the negligible correlations between test scores and class size.  This is a distraction.
Class size matters in so many qualitative ways–time available for each student to communicate with teachers, time available for teachers to devote towards assessing classroom work, time to build a sense of a caring community that is essential for learning.  None of this is possible with large class sizes.
Also, tests scores are really a poor argument concerning class size.  In fact, test scores on high stakes standardized achievement tests are not really evidence of “learning.”  Measuring learning requires multiple forms of assessment (observation,portfolios, teacher made tests, etc).  When people understand this then class size really does matter.  Too many students in a classroom does not allow teachers the time to truly assess learning.
Most importantly ask any of the “class size doesn’t matter” people this question.  Would they send their kids to a school with 30 -35 students in a room?  Ask them if class size matters when they choose their elite private schools.  Investigate the schools of Romney, Duncan and Gates (all class size doesn’t matter advocates).  Look at their (the schools of the elite) advertising literature.  They all boast about small class sizes.
So, I guess class size only matter to the powerful and elite?

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