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View Diary: A partial response to Bill Gates' op ed about teachers (247 comments)

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  •  This is wrongheaded in so many ways ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dunvegan, JanL

    not the least of which is the simple comparison with high peforming private schools.

    Expensive private schools with tuitions ranging from $10k-$30k/year have SIGNIFICANTLY SMALLER CLASSE SIZES than do their public school conterparts.  It has been demonstrated in study after study that the single most effective method to improve learning and the class environment in public schools is to REDUCE CLASS SIZE.  

    Hey Bill, how about you fix Vista AND direct the billions you made on crappy s/w towards programs that actually help lift people out of poverty instead of making it more difficult for dedicated teachers to teach.

    No quarter. No surrender.

    by hegemony57 on Mon Feb 28, 2011 at 07:45:46 AM PST

    •  Is that necessarily true? (0+ / 0-)

      Class size is a factor. But is it really the single most effective way? The asian nations like Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan etc, all have larger class sizes than in the US.

      I know here in the Bay Area, the best public schools (Mission San Jose, Monte Vista, etc) have slightly larger than average class sizes.

      •  Here's another way to look at it (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JanL, hegemony57

        Look up some of the top ranked private colleges and see what their class size is. My daughter's college, for example, has been ranked by Princeton Review as the top college in the country academically several times, and it's always in the top 2 or 3. It's also at the top of rankings for things like "students work the hardest". It ranks 2nd or 3rd nationally in percent of students who go on for advanced degrees, and has produced a large number of Rhodes and Fulbright scholars, and even a couple of MacArthur winners.

        Keep in mind that these are highly selective institutions whose average student high school GPA is nearly perfect, and whose average student SATs are in the 90th+ percentile. These are students that want to learn, are able to learn, and whose parents are paying $30,000 a year in tuition alone.

        These schools rarely have class sizes over 15 students, usually closer to 10. If they think that's necessary, given their selectivity and high ability levels of their students, why should we believe that public schools, which have to accept any student, including those with learning disabilities or deficits, will be successful with 30 or 40 or 60 students in a class?

        We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. - John F Kennedy

        by badger on Mon Feb 28, 2011 at 12:01:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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