Friday, February 4, 2011

Red tape act and class size

When advocates of Gov. Jindal's so-called Red Tape Reduction act say that larger class sizes are part of their school improvement agenda, they are plugging into a new national theme. These people share their bad ideas.

The latest to jump on the bigger-can-be-better bandwagon is the new Washington, D.C. school chancellor, Kaya Henderson. In an interview with the Washington Post, she admitted that increasing class size is on the table:
At the same time I know for sure when you have an excellent teacher in a
classroom -- and I've seen this -- that principals will put additional kids in a
classroom, up to 40. And if the teacher can handle those 40 kids they are better
served by that one highly effective teacher than splitting that class into two
classes of 20 [where] you can't guarantee are both are highly effective

You'll hear the same twaddle in Louisiana, when those who want to educate our children on the cheap say that class size doesn't really matter if you have a highly effective teacher in the room. So let's load it up with 40 children.

The better solution is to have two classes of 20 children with highly effective teachers.

Louisiana has a state law that mandates smaller class sizes. The Red Tape Reduction and Local Waiver Empowerment Act was written to help get around laws that govern public education in our state. It has very little to do with improving education, and it is in sync with a national agenda that is not necessarily in the best interests of our children, our schools or our professional educators.

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