Oregon Class Size 4th Largest in Nation


New figures just out today from the National Center for Education Statistics peg Oregon's public school class sizes as fourth-largest in the country.

Only Utah, California and Nevada packed more students per class during 2008-09, the new figures suggest.

Oregon had 19.2 students for every teacher -- 22 percent more students than the national average of 15.8 students per teacher.

And as The Oregonian reported Sunday, the state's high schools classrooms are even more crammed, with 19.9 students for every high school teacher on staff, including special education teachers and other specialists who work with a small number of students.

Oregon's per-student spending is about 7 percent percent below the national average. Its pupil-teacher ratio is so far above national norms mainly because school employees' total pay and benefits -- particularly their health and retirement packages -- are above the national average.

Read the full article here. Discuss below.

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    From the data base Betsy Hammond used, for the school year 2007-08, the annual per pupil spending was $10,259 nationally and $9,552 in Oregon.

    To our north, Washington was $9,099. To our south, California was $9,863 and Nevada was $8,285.

    To our east, Idaho was $6,931. And to our southeast, Utah was $5,765. Plus Utah is rapidly expanding, possibly mainstreaming, its Mandarin, French and Spanish immersion programs statewide (see my post here).

    As another comparison, the study abroad organization ASSE offers high school years abroad which include international transportation, room and board with a family, and tuition, for the following fees (see here): to French Canada, $5,300 (plus airfare); to Mexico, $5,880 (plus airfare); to Taiwan, $6,650; to Hong Kong, Mongolia and Vietnam, $7,400; to eighteen mostly European counties, $7,450, and to China, $7,550.

    Plus, the Portland based study abroad organization Education, Travel and Culture offers a high school academic year in China for $6,860 plus airfare (here).

    Another cost comparison is S-K Online, the online high school of the Salem-Keizer School District. They charge $265 per 0.5 credit for out of district students. For a high school student taking six credits per year the fees would be (12 x $265) $3,180. See here.

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      For what it's worth Oregon actually improved in this report, in the 07-08 report we ranked 2nd in class size behind only UT. The actual class size number didn't change much going from 19.4 to 19.2, the ranking improved mainly because CA and NV got worse.

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