I found this on another blog, click on through for the whole post.
Research has found that for kids K-3 they need a teacher:student ratio of 1:20 (or less) to learn effectively. Many wealthy districts already provide classrooms that size. The classrooms at my school are already in the 1:30 range.
Have you ever met a kid walk into kindergarten without any preschool experience and no prep or support at home? Yeah, I have… these kids haven’t been read to, don’t come from a print-rich environment, and don’t know rules and structure. Early childhood programs make a huge difference for children, especially those from disadvantaged homes. Read: Why investments in early childhood work.
I thought this was pretty interesting. I teach 30 kids, some schools in our district save even MORE money by going half day, one teacher can then teach 60 children. Funny thing that….. 30 in the morning another 30 or so in the afternoon, but they are still expected to teach them the same curriculum that I teach to 30 in my full day program. My kids are considered “at-risk” so presumably the kids in half day programs aren’t at-risk and so then can learn faster. Yeah, right. Anyway, kinders not mandatory here so that’s the excuse. With the financial crisis hitting us like many other districts, we face huge cuts in funding (we already HAVE dealt with huge cuts each of the last two years, this will cut even deeper) next year, they plan to increase class sizes thereby reducing the number of teachers. They want us to work more and get paid less. Nobody knows yet how it will all shake out, but struggling teachers will end up looking like the bad guys again.
I won’t teach 60 kids a day. If it comes to that, I’ll change grade levels, although by the time I do that, the other grades will have too many kids as well. All of that will improve test scores I’m sure.