From the NYC Parent blog:
"76% of teachers overall said that reducing class size would be "a very effective" way of improving teacher quality, and 78% of teachers who work in high needs schools. 21% of teachers said reducing class size would be "effective", for a total of 97% -- far outstripping every other strategy mentioned, including :
Increasing teacher salaries (57%), increasing professional development opportunities (54%), making it easier to terminate unmotivated or incompetent teachers (41%), requiring new teachers to spend time under the supervision of experienced teachers (35%) requiring graduate degrees in education (21%), requiring teachers to pass tough tests of their knowledge ot their subject (21%), tying salaries to principal or colleagues assessment (15%) tying rewards and sanctions to student performance (13%), eliminating tenure (12%), reducing regulations for teacher certification (8%), and relying more on alternative certificaiton (6%).
(In each of the categories I have put in parentheses the percent who said this would be a "very effective" way to to improve teacher quality.)
By the way, these views about the effectiveness of reducing class size to improve teacher effectiveness are shared by more experienced teachers and most principals as well.
See this 2006 public agenda survey of teachers and school administrators, "Is Support for Standards and Testing Fading."
"If the public schools finally got more money and smaller classes, they could do a better job." 88% of teachers agreed with this statement, and 85% of superintendents and principals, far outstripping any response.
Compare how many teachers, superintendents and principals agreed with this statement: "More testing and higher standards will ensure kids will master the skills they need": 1% (teachers), 7% (supers); 10% (principals)."
Wow; no matter how much technology or testing we do, the educators still believe class size is key.
Any volunteers to find out exactly how SPS is spending our I-728 money and why it isn't all going to lower class size?