The ways in which class size matters is important for three reasons. First, if we can observe not only achievement differences, but also the mechanisms through which the differences are produced, this will increase our confidence that the differences are real, and not an artifact of some unmeasured or poorly controlled condition. Second, the effects of class size may vary in different circumstances, and identifying how class size affects achievement will help us to understand why the effects of class size are variable.

Third, the potential benefits of a reduction in class size may be greater than what is observed. Case in point – suppose class size reductions do aid achievement, but only when teachers modify instructional practices to take advantage of the smaller classes. If a few teachers make such modifications, but most do not, then understanding how class size affects achievement in some cases will help reveal its potential effects, even if the potential is generally unrealized.


This paper explores the ways in which class size, among other working conditions, affects overall student performance. To produce accurate cost estimates for policy changes, it is essential to understand the effects of working conditions on student achievement. This analysis will identify the magnitude of these effects. Data Measurements: The measurement of class size is not as simple as it might seem. It should be noted in advance that while the two are related, class size and student teacher ratio are not necessarily the same figure.

Obviously each class cannot have 19. 68 students, as would be the case for Nevada County Elementary if each class size matched the average. There are, in fact, a number of factors that can influence this statistic, which may mean that the average student in a school with a lower student teacher ratio may not enjoy smaller class sizes! Class size may vary significantly for a single child at different times during a school day and school year, because of student absences, truancy, or the presence of special education or gifted classrooms.

Consequently, a class of 20 students that varies in its size from day to day might in fact have fewer than 20 pupils at a specific time. In middle and high school, class size also varies by subject area. For generations, the nation has struggled with how to improve its public schools. Since the late 1970s and early 1980s those concerns have risen, prompted largely by threats to our nation’s economic supremacy and prosperity. Trends on standardized tests have been stagnant since they were first begun in 1970, and international comparisons of student performance generally indicate that U.

S. children, particularly in the upper grade levels, are not competitive (Ferguson). From the above calculated values it is predicted that percentage of students qualifying for reduced meal plan, the average district income, and the percentage of English learners will have the most impact on test scores. However, because millions of dollars should not be appropriated based on “feelings,” it is necessary to examine, using statistical regression and inference, the actual significance of each variable.