Schooled podcast: Does class size matter?
Reducing Class Size Isn’t Always the Best Use of School Funds
Getting schooled.
Dec. 2 2013 10:46 AM

Schooled: Does Class Size Matter?

The formula for a successful school is more complicated than the teacher-pupil ratio.

To listen to Schooled, Episode 5, use the player below:

Welcome to Schooled, Slate’s new podcast about education.


Polls show that smaller class sizes are incredibly popular with parents and teachers. But with the Great Recession forcing school budget cuts, class size is once again a matter of debate, with Education Secretary Arne Duncan, megaphilanthropist Bill Gates, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg all suggesting that larger class sizes could be a good idea.

What do we really know about how class size affects student learning? Is there an ideal class size? In this episode, I talk to Larry Ferlazzo, a public school teacher and blogger, and Matthew Chingos, a class-size researcher at the Brookings Institution.

Podcast production by Sally Herships.

Dana Goldstein is the author of The Teacher Wars: A History of America's Most Embattled Profession, and a staff writer at The Marshall Project. 

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