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Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 22, 2014 at 11:34 AM

I-1351: Costs of reducing class size would be too high

The most important thing we can do to improve public K-12 education in America is to create a system where every student in every classroom is served by a competent, well-trained, supported and compensated teacher [“Initiative 1351 is the wrong tool to reduce class sizes,” Opinion, Oct. 6].

Accomplishing this would require considerable increases in public expenditures to facilitate improvements in teacher education and training and, perhaps most importantly, compensation incentives that would attract the best and brightest to the profession.

Initiative 1351 is the latest iteration in the nearly constant (over my 35-plus years in public education) stream of union-sponsored reduced class-size proposals couched in terms that imply a universal panacea for public education ills.

There is research evidence suggesting that class size should be a consideration in educating certain student groups (e.g., students with special needs). There is no evidence that an across-the-board class-size reduction such as that proposed in Initiative 1351 would lead to improvements in our students’ education.

What is certain is that the costs of such a reduction would be substantial and would direct limited public resources away from the most urgently needed improvements.

Please join me in voting no on Initiative 1351.

Jim James, Kenmore

Comments | More in Education | Topics: Class size, education, Initiative 1351

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