Common Core Costs Require Large Class Sizes, According To the NGA   1 comment

Common Core has a “how-to” implementation manual.

In this manual, on page 25, the manual discourages governors from reducing class sizes, in order to “maximize resources and share costs” for Common Core implementation.

It says: “… policies that limit class sizes in all grades hinder district efforts to achieve cost savings” and “Class size reduction policies are costly...”  (p. 25)

This manual is published by the National Governor’s Association (NGA).

The NGA, in partnership with the Council of Chief State State School Officers (CCSSO), are the “sole developers” and copyright holders of the standards.


“Copyright Notice:  NGA Center/CCSSO shall be acknowledged as the sole owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards, and no claims to the contrary shall be made.” .

One response to “Common Core Costs Require Large Class Sizes, According To the NGA

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  1. Why remove all context from the quoted segment?

    The following segment can be found under the headline “Maximize Resources and Share Costs” (A poor title choice, I’ll admit, as sharing costs is just one of the many strategies discussed. My hunch is that the editor has a parallelism fetish, as do I, and all the other headlines are formatted as this and that statements, but I digress).

    “Similarly state policies that limit class sizes in all grades hinder district efforts to achieve cost savings and do not produce the gains in student achievement
    thought to be associated with smaller class sizes. Research indicates that improvements in students’ achievement as a result of class size reduction have only occurred in elementary schools where classes were reduced to fewer than 17 students. Class size reduction policies are costly and should be applied only to the grades in which research indicates they are beneficial.”

    A little context and it becomes clear that the manual does not “discourages governors from reducing class sizes”. Instead it discourages policies that require all class sizes in all grade levels to be cut. Why is this objectionable? If current class size for all grade levels is currently 24 students would you prefer that a state mandate that all classes be limited to 20 students or would you prefer the district to have the flexibility to keep middle school and high school classes at 24 students and reduce elementary school classes to 16 students?

    Discouragement of mandatory class size limits is nothing new. A decade ago the drama and choir programs at my high school was dealing with the same issue. In order to have a class of 40 students, fairly standard for a choir, we had to have two full time, certified teachers in the room and technically we were two separate classes who happened to meet in the same room at the same time. We were constantly struggling with budget issues and it would have been nice to have one teacher and an extra 50K to pay for costumes, equipment, travel expenses for UIL competitions, or the school district could have kept the money and with it kept their threats to shut the program down for fiscal reasons, or the school district could have used the money to hire a dedicated math coach to tutor students who were falling behind, or they could have hired an additional 5th grade teacher and made each 5th grade class size that much smaller. They failed to “maximize resources”, instead opting for across the board class size limits because it sounds like a good idea.

    And that is both the original, and some additional, context for the quoted text. Thank you for allowing me to provide commentary on your blog.

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