Civitas Review

Class Size Ratios: Do They Impact Learning?

By | Posted in Education |

In a new article at, my colleague Bob Luebke examines what has become the unquestionable dogma in government schools: lower class sizes are needed to improve education results.

But is this conventional wisdom valid? The article examines some of the academic research on the topic and finds the evidence suggesting the class size reduction movement may be misguided.

While the evidence suggests CSR fails to deliver on a large scale, there are other problems. As Professor Matthew Chingos has astutely pointed out, when teaching is driven by ratios and not tasks, the ratio ends up determining how money is spent and ultimately what is done and how it is done.

In the end, CSR is a “one-size fits all” policy for students as well as teachers. Students and teachers are treated as interchangeable entities. CSR policies falsely assume that all teachers can effectively teach to students with differing abilities and backgrounds. In doing so, CSR denies what we know about teachers and students.

Could it be that we’ve chosen the wrong route to boost student achievement? Could it be we’ve misdiagnosed the student achievement problem?

Read the whole article here.

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