A ground breaking study on the effects of class size on student academics in the New York City classroom have shown that smaller class sizes result in improved student academic learning. However, there was one condition when small er class sizes did not show any meaningful student academic improvement. When the class was subject to a "newbie" teacher. Interestingly, Chalkbeat spun the study to claim that smaller class sizes did not necessarily show student academic achievement, despite the study's conclusion that it does.
The study took data from 473 schools from 2009-14 and concluded the following:
- Looking at schools near the cap between 2009 and 2014, Gilraine found that reducing class size by an average of four students produced gains in reading and math scores equivalent to roughly two and a half months of extra learning.
- The classes that shrank by bringing in a new teacher saw essentially no boost in student achievement. And since roughly 50 percent of the classes Gilraine examined depended on newly hired teachers, the overall effect of the class size reductions was cut in half.
- Though Gilraine did not rigorously assess why half of these class size reductions didn’t boost student learning, he said there are a couple of likely reasons. For one, newly hired teachers may be less experienced or lower quality.