Friday, September 03, 2010

Class Sizes Rise: Will the NY Times likely notice what’s going on in their backyard?

You see, all this money spent on testing SHOULD be spent on....."We find that both smaller class sizes and teachers with more experience improve long-term outcomes,"  Lisa

Original Message-----
From: Leonie Haimson <>
Subject: [nyceducationnews] Research Shows a Good Kindergarten Education Makes Dollars and Sense

See far better NSF reporting below of recent study that the NY Times put on its front page, with students in smaller classes in K making $2,000 more on average by age 27, w/ higher graduation and college-going rates.  The study also pointed out the value of having experienced teachers, which the Times reporter left out.
By the way, the researchers offered no evidence, nor did they ever imply, that paying a Kindergarten teacher $320,000 would lead to better outcomes, or that firing more teachers would help, contrary to the inferences made by the Times reporter, who instead used the study to push the currently fashionable policy proposals coming out of DC and the Gates/Broad/Walton foundations.
In fact, there is no correlation between higher pay and more effective teaching, and this sort of salary increase would likely lead to far worse outcomes since class sizes would have to be so radically increased.
No, this study underlines once again that we know of only two ways to produce more effective teaching: providing experienced teachers with smaller classes.
By the way, class sizes are expected to increase yet again in classrooms across the city this fall; esp. in Kindergarten, for the third year in a row.  But will the NY Times likely notice what’s going on in their backyard?  Don’t hold your breath.
Related Websites
PowerPoint briefing: How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings?:
Press Release 10-138
Research Shows a Good Kindergarten Education Makes Dollars and Sense
Harvard University's John Friedman discusses how kindergarten learning affects adult success
Photo of a teacher holding cards with letters and kindergarten students raising their hands.
A good kindergarten learning experience can equate to about $1,000 more a year in adult earnings.
Credit and Larger Version
August 10, 2010
View a video with John Friedman of Harvard University.
There isn't a lot of research that links early childhood test scores to earnings as an adult. But new research reveals a surprising finding: Students who learn more in kindergarten earn more as adults. They are also more successful overall.
Harvard University economist John Friedman says he and a group of colleagues found that students who progress during their kindergarten year from attaining an average score on the Stanford Achievement Test to attaining a score in the 60th percentile can expect to make about $1,000 more a year at age 27 than students whose scores remain average.
Taking into account all variation across kindergarten classes, including class size, individuals who learn more--as measured by an above-average score on the Stanford Achievement Test--and are in smaller classes earn about $2,000 more per year at age 27.
Moreover, students who learn more in kindergarten are more likely to go to college than students with similar backgrounds. Those who learn more in kindergarten are also less likely to become single parents, more likely to own a home by age 28 and more likely to save for retirement earlier in their work lives.
"Kindergarten interventions matter a great deal for long-term outcomes," said Friedman. "For instance, being in a smaller class for two years increases the probability of attending college by 2 percent.
"We find that both smaller class sizes and teachers with more experience improve long-term outcomes," he said. "We believe that other teacher characteristics, as well as various characteristics of a student's peers, also have significant impacts on later life outcomes, but the data did not allow us to measure those effects well."
Friedman and colleagues from Harvard, Northwestern University and University of California, Berkeley, used a well-known education experiment conducted in Tennessee as a starting point to measure adult outcomes of early childhood learning. In the mid-1980s, the Student/Teacher Achievement Ratio (STAR) project placed students in classes of different size to determine how class size affects student learning. Results showed that students in small classes learn more and have greater academic success.
This new study, funded by the National Science Foundation's Division of Social and Economic Sciences, examined adult outcomes of nearly 12,000 students who took part in the original study and who are now 30 years old. It allowed the research team to go beyond what children learned during their year in the STAR project to see how their kindergarten learning experiences affected their lives. Researchers recently presented results of the new study, which has yet to be peer-reviewed, at an academic conference in Cambridge, Mass.
To learn more about what the researchers found, see John Friedman discuss the recent study in the accompanying video.
Media Contacts
Bobbie Mixon, NSF (703) 292-8070
Program Contacts
Nancy A Lutz, NSF (703) 292-7280
John Friedman, Harvard University (617) 495-8628
Related Websites
PowerPoint briefing: How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings?:
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2010, its budget is about $6.9 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives over 45,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes over 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards over $400 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

Meanwhile we are likely to see sharp increases in class size, with a loss of 2,000 teaching positions and an increase of 18,000 students.

The city has $200 million from the edujobs legislation that they want to save, unspent.

What’s wrong w/ this picture?  Who is looking out for the kids?

School Year to Begin and More than 1,700 Teachers Without Permanent Jobs
Thursday, September 02, 2010


Anonymous said...

Silly question Norm. They will ONLY notice if the DOE feeds them the story.

Anonymous said...

I've been an ATR for four years and I have three licences: Special Education, ESl, and Bilingual. I went to different schools and to all the job fairs to search for a permanent job to no avail. I am very upset at the Union because the UFT ATR Agreement will expire on December 2010. What will happen after that? The Union does not care on how to solve this big mess(many excessed teachers). In spite of all my licences- Who gets hired? The teachers Fellows and the Teach for America Teachers.