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Questions to the U.S. Dept. of Education's Secretary Spellings

 

Questions to the U.S. Dept. of Education's Secretary Spellings
A: Secretary Spellings
 

The Department of Education provides $3 billion in federal funding under No Child Left Behind for improving teacher quality. One way these funds can be used is for class-size reduction efforts, depending on the needs of the local community. Placing a highly qualified teacher in every classroom is our ultimate goal under the law, which pledges a quality education for every single child.

Overall, the record on class-size reduction is mixed. Some studies have shown that reducing class size is effective in earlier grades when coupled with other education reforms, but that the impact is not as significant at the middle and upper grade levels. A 2002 study of California's class-size reduction program did not find conclusive evidence that it led to improved student achievement. I would add that some schools, in particular the inner-city KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) Academy have enjoyed great success by instituting a longer school day and school year. Even the students seem to like it!