North Carolina has done it again. The State legislature recently passed an absolutely useless bill based off very little evidence. North Carolina classrooms are being reduced from K-3 grade. The hope is that smaller class sizes lead to better education. While the premise for this argument is sound, the premise for immediate reduction to class size remains holey. Wake County estimates this bill could cost them $26 million dollars in hiring new teachers and adding classrooms. Many experts suggest that classes such as music, art, and PE will be cut. We are in a time where we need quality teaching, not more teachers. This bill will create an influx of teachers that will water down an already diluted profession. The future of this Country will suffer in the process.
This bill effectively wants classroom sizes to change overnight, which would require more classrooms and teachers overnight. This is not a reality. Children next year will report to trailers, and music, art, and PE teachers might be out of jobs to cut cost. This could have been implemented over the next 5 years by slowing decreasing classroom sizes and provided a budget for building more space, and hiring new teachers. As the bill stands, and hopefully Roy Cooper vetoes this ludicrous bill, the education of K-3 will take a significant blow all because the money doesn’t exist.
The Center For Public Education is a driving force behind this new law, and their argument wouldn’t hold in a high school logic class. Phrases like, “We identified 19 studies that met our standards” and “ See, for example, Glass and Smith 1978” leave me wondering if a “C” average student did the research. My professors would have fleeced me for writing, “Even in light of findings that suggest no relationship between class size and student achievement, the preponderance of the evidence supports positive effects and academic gains when class size reduction programs in the primary grades are well-designed and properly implemented.” Essentially, the argument they are making is that the evidence for classroom reduction is small, but if well implemented and designed properly classroom reduction can work. If I tasked a company to build me a house and they said, “There is little evidence a home in this area will survive, but if we make a well designed and properly implemented house you have a chance” I’d tell him to take a hike.
House Bill 13 makes no sense. The research behind it makes no sense. The future of our country are going to suffer.