The relationship between class size, school size, and student achievement in private, independent high schools
Jones, Mark James
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The purpose of this study was to determine any possible relationships between class size, school size, and student achievement among private, independent high school students. The sample of the study included 61 private, independent high schools in the southeast region of the United States. Bivariate and partial correlations were conducted on the initial data set and the data set with removed outliers. Control variables used in this study included the ethnicity of the students, the experience of the faculty, and the percentage of teachers with advanced education. The control variable used as a measure of socioeconomic status was the percentage of students receiving financial aid. The initial data set reported levels of significance among all of the dependent variables, but consisted of strong positive correlations. The data set with removed outliers revealed three levels of significance, consisting of negative correlations: •Language Arts average class size with Combined SAT scores (r=-.3541, p=.032 ); •Language Arts and mathematics average class size with Mathematics SAT scores (r=-.3397, p=.040); and •Language Arts and mathematics average class size with Combined SAT scores (r=-.3275, p=.048). A review of literature revealed that in order for positive gains in student achievement to occur, class sizes must be between 15 and 20 students and school sizes must be between 300 and 600. This study reported findings from a sample having a mean average class size in the core subjects of 15.57, and a mean school size of 348.46. These variables supported positive correlations with student achievement and class size, accounting for the three negligible, negative correlation groups.
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