Teachers union hoping for smaller class sizes for fall semester
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Local teachers’ union officials are worried classroom sizes at schools are too large for teachers and could be impacting student’s retention.
Officials with the Alabama Educators Association said there are no set standards from the state on how many students can be in a classroom, only recommendations.
William Tunnell with the AEA said less than 17 students is ideal for most educators to work with, but the smaller the better. He said complaints from teachers about managing classroom sizes is common and some have as many as 25 students at one time.
School districts like Shelby County recently re-evaluated their school district zoning to help reduce classroom sizes and Tunnell supports the move. He said students with more individual attention from a teacher have better retention and test scores.
“Standardized test scores, improvement in reading and math, you simply cannot factor out of the equation the class size because it absolutely matters,” Tunnell said. “The smaller the class size, the better experience the child and teacher are going to have and then the better the performance. It’s just a hard thing to do, because it requires more teachers and teachers cost money, so it’s not a simple thing.”
Tunnell said reduced class sizes is one of the best way a school district can recruit new teachers right now. He said many educators looking to move districts are looking for less students, more resources from the school, and more planning time.
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