The class size debate
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Professor Eric Hanushek, Professor Alan Krueger and Professor Jennifer Rice

The Class Size Debate considers the merits of smaller class sizes and the research methods used to measure the efficacy of this policy. Balancing Krueger’s argument that smaller class sizes can improve pupils’ performance and future earnings prospects, he is challenged by Prof Hanushek, who maintains that research has widely discredited class size reduction as an effective policy.

Hanushek argues that other policies besides class size reduction, such as improving teacher quality, are more important. Rice adds a third-party perspective to the debate, first addressing each author’s arguments, then focusing on the policy implications of the class size literature.

The costliness of class size reduction looms large over the trio’s conclusions. The book ends by calling on policy makers to pay greater attention to estimating the cost of reducing class size, so that is can be weighed against more empirically sound measures for improving pupil achievement, such as teacher CPD.  

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Professor Eric Hanushek, Professor Alan Krueger and Professor Jennifer Rice

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Economic Policy Institute

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Though based on evidence from the USA, the findings and conclusions of this research will make for interesting reading for policy makers, while arguments about the costliness of reducing class size may be illuminating for those response for school budgeting.


Record ID:
R054 / 280
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The class size debate

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Professor Eric Hanushek

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