There is still a great deal of debate around whether smaller classes are worth the high cost. The Southern Regional Education Board takes on the topic in a new report, noting that it would cost more than $10 billion a year if schools nationwide reduced average class size by even one student.
The report, “Smart Class-Size Policies for Lean Times,” says that the public, when given a choice between “smaller classes with average-performing teachers” and “larger classes with better-than-average teachers,” emphatically chose better teachers over smaller classes.
The report also notes that it is difficult to get a true handle on class size and student-teacher ratios because “many states count personnel other than full-time instructors (such as guidance counselors, librarians, paraprofessionals and administrators) in the student teacher ratio. The result is