By: TJ Mertz - Madison Board of Education Seat #5
Since the Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education began work on our 2017-18 budget last November, Progressive Dane Board Members have been working to make sure smaller class sizes are a priority. On Monday June 26, 2017 (6:00 PM, Doyle Building) among the amendments the Board will be considering and voting is one that increases the allocations for classroom teachers for all schools, sets guidelines to assure that our higher poverty schools are first in line for these new positions, and increases transparency and accountability via reporting requirements. At this final stage, it is important to let the Board know you value small class sizes. There will be public testimony at the meeting, and you can always write the Board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No single education policy or practice will fix every area of concern with our schools, but research and experience have consistently demonstrated that small class sizes can help bring improvement in many of the most important areas, including student achievement, opportunity gaps, behavior, school climate, inclusion and differentiation, staff morale and retention, and family engagement.
For more on the wide ranging impacts of smaller class sizes, visit the Class Size Matters web site. On the MMSD proposal, I posted a walk-through of the final amendment here, detailed the process and the thinking behind an earlier version here, and Anna Moffit posted a PD Pick of the Week.
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