|School Report #4|
From the Chicago Tribune 9/14/03
Decreased class sizes (15 or fewer students) in the early grades (K-3) has better long term effects than an across-the-board cut to all class sizes across all grades.
In 1993, North Carolina decided that for grades 1, 2, and 3, they would cut class sizes to 15 or less and then would track achievement scores.
Of note, about 30% of these students were low SES and "limited English" students in 1993, with the estimate being 46% by 2003. Further, about 2% were "limited English" in 1993, compared to 50 in 2003. One Burke County school reached expected reading and math levels of 91%. For this group, 20% are "limited English" students, 75% are low SES, and the school is across the street from a housing project.
The percentage of students (N=15,000) at grade reading levels for the Burke County Public Schools are noted below. The gray comes from the scores of the original group of 1992-1993 children, and the blue comes from the children who received the smaller class sizes in grades 1-3:
In Chicago, teachers by contract are supposed to have no more than 29 students per class, but class sizes range from 15 to 42, with North Berwyn, for example, averaging 26-27 children per class in grades K-3, and the largest Illinois school being Plainfield, with 30 students per class in grades K-3.