Key Issue: Class Size

Teacher9PSEA has a very clear stand on the need for small class sizes:

PSEA believes that small class size will improve student achievement, and that Pennsylvania should work to reduce class sizes, particularly in elementary schools.

Smaller is better. Countless studies have concluded that reducing class sizes is one way to improve American students' academic performance. How small is small? Optimal class size is 15 students for kindergarten and first grade and no more than 18 for second- through fifth-grade.

Nationwide research on class size-reductions programs has found that smaller class sizes in the early grades:

  • Increases student achievement
  • Upholds gains through 3rd grade
  • Is most beneficial to African-American students
  • Narrows the achievement gap between African-American and white students
  • Compensates for poor attendance
  • Reduces the number of high school dropouts
  • Improves student behavior




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