December 6th, 2011
11:41 AM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

Wall Street Journal: Churches Grapple With School Ruling
Many churches in New York City pay a fee to worship in the city's public schools. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to review a lower court's decision barring churches from holding services on school property.

NPR: A Carrot For College Performance: More Money
In Tennessee, funding for state colleges is now determined by the graduation rate instead of enrollment. Birmingham apartments offer learning-disabled a chance to learn life skills while attending school
A group of older special needs students learns about living on their own while they take classes. Ex-CEO of Intel to lead Brewer's education council
A critic of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's education policy is now in charge of its reform.

JSOnline (Milwaukee, Wisconsin): Stingl – Dropping cursive isn't a capital idea
The author argues that children should learn to write cursive. He takes to the streets and finds there's at least one cursive letter adults still can't write properly.

Posted by
Filed under: After High School • At Home • Behavior • Policy • Practice • Teachers • Technology • Today's Reading List
December 6th, 2011
07:02 AM ET

Does class size matter?

By Rose Arce, CNN

Editor’s note: This is Part 1 of a two-part series on overcrowding and undercrowding in schools.  You can see Part 2 here.

New York’s Forest Hills High School comes alive at 7:30 in the morning when students swarm in to start their day. But there are so many students, that the school has created a second shift at 8:30 and a third at 10:30 a.m. By the time the last students arrive, the first are already having a very early lunch.

That’s just one solution schools around the country have found to the vexing problem of overcrowding. In schools across the country, trailers line parking lots and athletic fields, extracurricular programs and arts classes are vanishing and gym classes, which have higher size limits, are packed. The schools have lost nearly a quarter million teachers since 2008 because of budget cuts, and the long-lingering aftermath of the recession continues to bite.

“Overcrowding means students don’t get the attention they need from their teachers, they just don’t. They don’t learn as much, they withdraw, they become disruptive, some drop out,” said Leonie Haimson, a parent who runs Class Size Matters, a group advocating for better student-teacher ratios. “Parents and teachers know they can’t do their best in classes of 30 or more.”

Posted by
Filed under: Issues • Policy • Practice • video