Each One Student Increase in Class Size Parallels a Four Point Increase in TIMSS Math Scores
The TIMSS-R study conducted in 1999 showed a pattern similar to the 1995 study, which is that each additional student per average classroom paralleled a four point in crease in TIMSS Math scores. This is not necessarly proof that all we need to do to increase math skills of our students is to double or triple the size of our classrooms, but it is proof that education quality does not suffer from increasing the number of students in a classroom, and that education quality can be retained in large classrooms. http://timss.bc.edu/timss1999i/math_achievement_report.html
TIMSS Math Scores versus Class Size, by Country | 1995 Score | 1999 Score | Class size |
Australia | 519 | 525 | 27 |
Bulgaria | 527 | 511 | 22 |
Canada | 521 | 531 | 27 |
Czech Republic | 546 | 520 | 24 |
Hong Kong,SAR | 569 | 582 | 37 |
Hungary | 527 | 532 | 21 |
International Avg. | 519 | 521 | 31 |
Italy | 491 | 485 | 20 |
Japan | 581 | 579 | 36 |
Korea, Rep.of | 581 | 587 | 42 |
Latvia( LSS) | 488 | 505 | 22 |
Lithuania | 472 | 482 | 23 |
Netherlands | 529 | 540 | 25 |
New Zealand | 501 | 491 | 25 |
Russian Federation | 524 | 526 | 24 |
Singapore | 609 | 604 | 37 |
Slovak Republic | 534 | 534 | 25 |
Slovenia | 531 | 530 | 22 |
United States | 492 | 502 | 26 |
COUNTRY | TIMSS Math Score table20_1.htm | Average Number of Students Per Class |
Korea | 607 | 49 |
Japan | 605 | 44 |
Hong Kong | 588 | 41 |
China (est) | 610 | 48 |
Switzerland | 545 | 18 |
France | 538 | 25 |
Ireland | 527 | 27 |
Italy | 537 | 21 |
Israel | 522 | 32 |
Slovenia | 541 | 25 |
England | 506 | 22 |
Canada | 527 | 25 |
U.S. | 500 | 23 |
Spain | 487 | 29 |
Portugal | 454 | 25 |
American parents don't have to teach American children that American
teachers are just cheap babysitters.
American children are smart enough to figure this out on their own.
And this is why they don't respect them. You don't get respect by demanding
respect, not even from children. You get respect by demonstrating ability.
You may claim that it's not the fault of our teachers that they don't
possess any ability which is worthy of the respect of their own students,
but you can't claim that this isn't the reason children don't respect them.
How can anyone possibly expect a student to respect a math teacher who says
"the statistical methodology is inherently faulty and unreliable", when many
students know or at least sense that this just isn't true? TIMSS made it
obvious that many of our own students now believe this statement, which must
mean that a large percentage of their teachers also believe it.
It is false.
A qualified, capable teacher in Japan or Korea can easily teach math to a
classroom of 60 students because the students respect the math ability of
the teacher. But our teachers can't even teach math to a classroom of 18
students. While foreign teachers are teaching calculus to classrooms full
of 60 high school students, we are just barely able to get through geometry
in classrooms with only 18 high school students.
Needless to say, this is partly why we spend three times as much for
education (as a percent of GDP) than they do.
There isn't a shred of evidence that all of these steps we've taken to
support incompetent teachers has improved the education of our children one
whit. Smaller class sizes don't do anything but increase costs, and mask
the real problems.