I would like to respond to James Gale’s May 20 Maine Voices column, “Education is our most severe crisis, and the danger is increasing.”

As a former teacher, I too am concerned with quality education, and I agree with some of his points. What I disagree with is his bottom line, which is to “keep class size small at all cost.”

He never defines what he means by “small class size,” but implies that small classes will improve “academic standards.”

There’s no justification for this at all. I’ve never seen or heard of a study that found that small classes lead to improved student performance.

I use to enjoy teaching social studies electives with 12 to 15 students in a class, but I don’t believe that small class size improved the quality of my teaching.

If a teacher can’t manage and provide quality of instruction to a class of 20 to 25 students, he or she should be doing something else.

When those in education promote small class size, it’s just a justification to keep jobs for teachers at any cost, whether they are needed or not.

 


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