|Back to Nov. Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 226||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||NOVEMBER 2004|
|Australian Study: Smaller Classes Don't Improve Performance|
Reducing class sizes does not improve academic performance at primary or secondary school level, according to a new Australian study of 1,540 schools.
The study, conducted by the Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, compared results of statewide literacy and numeracy tests with average class size. "On almost all tests, class size was rarely important," the study concluded.
As in the U.S., teachers unions have been the strongest advocates of class-size reduction in Australia, saying the evidence in favor of smaller classes is irrefutable. But U.S. economist Eric Hanushek, speaking in Melbourne, said that several hundred American studies of the effect of class size found the evidence was inconclusive. (theaustralian.com.au, 8-27-04)