Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


Government officials, policymakers, school districts and teachers have questioned the impact of class size on students’ achievement, engagement, and behavior. This thesis project examines the challenges and benefits to class size initiatives and proposes an extension from elementary grades through high school as a means to raise student achievement and involvement. It discusses prior research efforts such as Project STAR, which was conducted in Tennessee, and its significance in establishing benchmarks for studying smaller class size with regard to ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status. Further historical research considers: class size reduction initiatives as they link to student achievement, comparison of students per class and cumulative grade point averages to understand trends, student to teacher ratio effects, and potential fiscal concerns for enlarging class reduction programs in the secondary levels.

The study was completed in a suburban district with students of varying ethnic and socioeconomic status. The study was two-fold: district wide teacher surveys to understand class size and cumulative grade point average and year-long observation in individual math classes (two small and one large). Conclusions drawn support the concept of lowered class size to increase students’ academic achievement.


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