Does size matter when it comes to public school classes?
This question was debated on CBC Radio’s The Current this morning. Burnaby, BC grade 4/5 teacher Jennifer Heighton, Russ Whitehurst of the Brookings Institution, and I weighed in on the question.
Important context is the ongoing BC teachers strike, where class size and composition are key elements of contract negotiations. The ruling BC Liberals stripped class size and composition rules from the BC teachers contract in 2002, a move that has twice been judged as illegal by BC courts.
I’ve written a brief summary of class size research, with key references, which you can find here.
You can read a very recent review of the research on class size here.
Last month, Global TV BC broadcast a “town hall” discussion on a wide variety of education issues related to education in BC and the ongoing dispute between teachers and government, including class size. You can watch that segment here.
Here’s a good background piece from The Tyee: Everything You Need to Know about BC Teacher Bargaining
Listen to The Current segment (21 minutes) on class size here.