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Class Size

April 9, 1988
A Times article (Part I, March 31) quotes a U.S. Department of Education report criticizing teachers for complaining about large class size when "the number of students they teach has never been fewer and their workload has never been lighter." I am obliged to teach three or four English literature and writing classes three quarters a year, with as many as 120 students per term. I am also expected to assign essay exams and papers rather than resort to short-answer tests, and to grade them myself rather than relegate them to student assistants.
September 3, 1990
Cutting class size would be very simple to achieve. Let's take the average class of 36 or so first graders. Half the class comes to school at 7:30 a.m. For the first three hours, they do the core work: reading, writing, arithmetic, social studies, science. At 10:30 or 11 a.m. they are joined by the other half of the class for recess, singing, art, lunch, physical education, etc. The first half leaves at the appropriate time (12:30 or 1:30 p.m.) while the second half stays to 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. for their core studies.
November 25, 2007
Re "Schools that fail all our children," Opinion, Nov. 20 The headline of this article sums up a common misconception held by so many, and preached by those who have spent little or no time in the classroom. It is the place where too many people stop reading, but I continued reading, and, despite the misleading headline, I found that John Rogers and Jeannie Oakes agree with me. They concluded what every teacher in California will tell you if you ask: It's class size.
July 8, 1996 | GEORGE SKELTON
Now that we've had a long weekend and the chance to take a deep breath, the fair thing would be to look again at who really deserves credit for reducing class sizes in California's elementary schools. It isn't only--or even mostly--Gov. Pete Wilson, despite a masterful spin by the governor and his staff. Wilson deserves credit for finally seeing the light and illuminating the issue. But first he was made to feel the heat, as Ronald Reagan would say.
October 22, 1997 | SUSAN DEEMER
First- and second-grade students showed significant growth in mathematics and reading skills between fall and spring semesters last year, according to class-size reduction study released Monday by the Capistrano Unified School District. Third-graders, whose classes were reduced to 20 students per teacher, showed small growth in skills for reading and math compared with their counterparts in classes of 30.
June 8, 2000 | MILO PEINEMANN
Class size reduction in Simi Valley schools has helped teachers and students but caused an unexpected casualty--the schools' libraries. And parents don't like it. Parents from Hollow Hills asked the school board recently for a portable building to use as a school library. Books at Hollow Hills Fundamental line the walls of a multipurpose room that is also used for assemblies, lunch and other events.
As the Los Angeles Board of Education met Tuesday to discuss the progress of reducing primary class size to 20 students, a troubling undercurrent interrupted the flow of the superlatives. Yes, the Los Angeles Unified School District already has put 117,023 first- and second-grade pupils in smaller classes, moving faster than anyone ever thought the massive system could. "It's just incredible," said board member Victoria Castro.
August 13, 1996 | KATE FOLMAR
Taking action on an issue that has captivated educators across California, the Simi Valley school board will decide tonight whether to reduce class size for its youngest students. If trustees opt to diminish class size for the district's nearly 3,000 first- and second-graders, they will then have to grapple with how to pay for and find room for smaller classes.
August 9, 1996 | BILL BILLITER
Administrators at the Cypress School District are recommending that all first-grade classes immediately be reduced to 20 students this fall. Assistant Supt. Elizabeth Novack said concentration should be on the first grade "because it's such a critical year in terms of student development." She said the district staff is recommending that "based on space availability, second grades be reduced in size this year with site-by-site decisions."
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