Check out this interesting column about the idea that total student loads per teacher -- not class size -- might have a lot to do with raising student achievement (and making teachers happy) in middle and high schools especially:
"Some urban districts have TSLs approaching 200 kids per teacher. But
after principals get budgeting power, the load drops sharply, sometimes
to as low as 80 kids per instructor. When that happens, the portion of
students scoring "proficient" on state tests climbs."
Beware of the Easy School Fix Jay Mathews Washington Post
Apparently, TSL is capped in some districts -- 170 in NYC, 225 in LA. (Chicago?) The column is based on a not-yet-published study of 442 schools including Chicago by a UCLA professor who advocates school-based budgeting that eliminates nonclassroom positions in favor of reducing teacher loads.
I'm going to try and get my hands on the report and will let you know more.
Filed under: Teachers & Teaching