Harvard study says Florida class size reduction has not boosted test scores

May 14, 2010
Students at schools where size was reduced did no better on math and reading
FromThe St. Petersburg Times: A Harvard University think tank concludes in a study that despite a multibillion-dollar price tag, the 2002 Florida constitutional amendment to reduce class sizes has had little impact on student test scores. The study, conducted by Matthew M. Chingos, a research fellow at Harvard's Program on Education Policy and Governance, found that students attending schools that were required to reduce class size did no better on state math and reading tests than students attending schools that were given funding to spend as they saw fit. The class-size amendment mandates that all classes in core academic subjects be reduced to no more than 18 students in grades K-3, 22 students in 4-8, and 25 students in 9-12. After spending $15.8 billion, the state has shrunk class sizes enough to meet the caps as a schoolwide average. But this fall, the caps must be met in every classroom. MORE: Read the study. MORE: Read article from American School & University magazine. APRIL 2010...from The Miami Herald: A longtime push to scale back the 2002 Florida class-size amendment is heading for ballot in November. After less than 45 minutes of debate, state house members voted 77-41 in favor of a constitutional amendment approved last month in the Senate. The three-fifths vote by both chambers gets the measure on the ballot in November. The constitution currently limits class sizes to 18 students in grades pre-kindergarten through third, 22 students in fourth through eighth grades and 25 students in high school. Superintendents have been allowed to meet those caps by district and, now, school averages, but the constitution requires a shift toward hard classroom counts starting in July.

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