Saturday, May 19, 2007

Tim Eby, Meet Eric Hanushek

Tim Eby over at reservenotes43065.blogspot.com has just extended his range of expertise. Eby is now making the claim that reducing class size is important for learning. Well, Eby, let me introduce you to Dr. Eric Hanushek:
Eric Hanushek is the Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. He is also chairman of the Executive Committee for the Texas Schools Project at the University of Texas at Dallas, a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a member of the Koret Task Force on K–12 Education.

-- Hanushek's personal bio (abridged)
Hanushek is a left-leaning economist and researcher who in 1981 began looking at the effect of class size on achievement. He expected to - and likely wanted to - find positive benefits due to reducing class size. He instead found no connection between reducing class size and student achievement. None whatsoever. And Hanushek is a liberal by nature.

Since his findings, Hanushek has produced subsequent studies and written many articles on the subject. There is one connection - or correlation - that he did note: Reducing class size is the most expensive program for improving student learning, especially considering that the reduction does absolutely nothing for performance.

Eby also needs to introduce himself to the findings of Dr. Sanders - the national expert on value-added models of student academic growth. (Of note, the district and state utilize his model, and the district has been sending administrators to see Sanders speak the last couple of years) Sanders has also found no connection between reducing class size and student achievement. None whatsoever.

Incovenient truths from national experts. Of course, you can always go with Eby if you'd like. Though, even he notes that reducing class size needs to be followed by increased performance. But, based on the research from Hanushek and Sanders, there is no reason to spend tax dollars on an outcome that is already known.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A perusal of the last few posts on Eby's blog shows how he puts things out there without a whole lot of thought, leaving him unable to defend his own statements.

Who can take seriously one who gets slapped around on his own blog?