Alternatives to Class-Size Reduction

A report by the Center for American Progress says that reducing class size to boost student performance is not cost-effective and that money would be better spent recruiting and retaining better teachers.

The report, "The False Promise of Class-Size Reduction," states that although smaller class sizes are popular with parents and teachers, the evidence that large-scale class-size reductions improve student performance is not persuasive.

"When school finances are limited (as they always are), the cost-benefit test any educational policy must pass is not ‘Does this policy have any positive effect?’ but rather ‘Is this policy the most productive use of education dollars?’ " the report asserts. "A hugely expensive policy has to produce very impressive results in order for it to be preferable to all of the other potential uses for those resources."

The report argues that educators should be considering whether other strategies for improving student performance would be more cost-effective.

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