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Class Size
Class Size

AIR DATE: February 7, 2011

Experts and analysts of Governor Brian Sandoval's budget say that if it were implemented as is, the education system in Nevada would take a big hit. A result of cuts to education could be larger class sizes. But what is the exact impact of large and small class sizes? And can the state reduce class size in an effective manner? We talk with two researchers and a representative from CCSD about class sizes.

Lauren Kohut-Rost, Deputy Superintendent of Instruction, CCSD
Jeremy Finn, SUNY Buffalo
Matt Chingos, Fellow, Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution, and postdoctoral Fellow, Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University
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    Commonly asserted rhetoric in today's political climate espouses that our government (implying all levels, including education) should be run like a business. While the purpose of government, from my perspective, should not profit from those it governs, it should apply from private enterprise those reasonable and applicable principles toward more efficiency. I must say that I have not heard all plausible points of view on this subject. With that said, I have several questions. What are the class sizes at all grade levels in local private schools (i.e.. The Meadows, Las Vegas Day School, Faith Lutheran, and etc.)? What is the average amount of money spent per student at these institutions? What are the class sizes? What are the teacher benefit packages? How is teacher compensation calculated and awarded? Why not use the private schools in this regard as a starting point to determine the standards of education from which we will provide our children? While admitting I did not hear the full discussion on SON before writing this comment, I ask the above questions, because I did not hear any commentator discuss class sizes in private schools.
    KirkFeb 3, 2011 11:08:37 AM
    Regarding class size, you could have three students in a class and accomplish nothing because many students today have a plethora of physical and psychological "problems" and each student require a "PEP" personalized education plan. If the teacher's job description was to "teach" it would be easy to evaluate the teacher's effectiveness. "Teacher's" have to diagnose physical and psychological problems, watch for sick or abused students, try and engage parents in their student's education and monitor and adjust for social development, learning problems, behavior and all the other issues that teacher's are more than just a teacher. Let "teachers" "teach", they should not be surrogate parents or babysitters. Even babysitters make $5/hr so if you take a teacher with a class size of 25 students they should be making at least $125/hr for 8 hours a day for the 180 day school colander; unfortunately teachers don't make anywhere near this amount and the administrators rob teachers when they give themselves a 14% pay raise and teachers a 2% raise. Like other bureaucracies, education is administration top heavy and the teachers have unrealistic goals to try and hit. What is a "teacher"?
    BobFeb 8, 2011 12:07:41 PM
    Your callers alluded to what classrooms were like when they were in school. We must look ahead and realize this is our future. There are more issues teachers must deal with (ELL, child with disabilities, behavior problems, bullies, etc.) and classroom size reduction is a must. K-12 is a small cost compared to the cost on the other end (incarceration, low paying jobs, etc.)
    Dana Feb 3, 2011 09:38:51 AM
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