published Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Great teachers, not class size, is most important, Haslam says

NASHVILLE — Gov. Bill Haslam downplayed concerns about the impact that local education cuts will on class size across Tennessee, telling student leaders that teacher quality ultimately matters more.

“Most studies have shown that teacher class size is not as direct a relationship to achievement as people have thought in the past, that having a great teacher with 25 students is better than having a mediocre teacher with 18 students, OK?,” Haslam said today.

He told the hundreds of rising high-school seniors attending the Volunteer Girls State leadership program that he is “trying to push our education [system] toward making sure we have a great teacher in front of every classroom regardless of the classroom size.”

Haslam’s comments were made during a question-and-answer session with students attending the Nashville program.

They come as a number of school systems prepare to make major cuts in their budgets as federal stimulus funds run out.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Times Free Press.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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memphisexile said...

I don't know about anyone else, but I have never been in, seen or heard of a public school classroom with less than 30 kids in it. Reality is probably more like 35. Maybe if we got the classrooms sized down to 18-25 there would be less effect. Ask any teacher how much of a difference 25 instead of 35 would be. Our dear governor is being a bit disingenuous.

May 31, 2011 at 11:24 p.m.
hcirehttae said...

Memphis exile, you said it exactly. Nobody in public education is agonizing about class size differential between 18 and 25. My last year teaching in public school there were nearly 40 kids in my class and there was never a year when the number was less than 32. Haslam, like many others, creates straw man arguments and seizes on the latest bandwagon finding to show he is hip to education. He's not. Can we get the previous governor back, pllease?

June 1, 2011 at 7:40 a.m.
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