Education Experts Disagree on Importance of School

Judy Hartnett's picture
Tuesday, May 29, 2012

When Greg Sumlin looks at the incoming kindergarten class at East Elementary School in Littleton, he sees a group of English learners who need immediate, intensive instruction — in small classes where teachers can give them individual attention.

Then he looks at this year's first-graders, calculates his staffing and crunches the numbers: although these kids also have high needs, three classrooms of 16 or 17 will have to be shoe-horned into two second-grade classes of 23.

It's a vexing academic sudoku that principals tackle — and teachers must adapt to — as schools try to line up budgets, staff and attendance projections in pursuit of an elusive educational sweet spot: effective class size.

Colorado Classroom covers local and state education issues affecting K-12 and higher education students in the state of Colorado.

We're still talking about it and will be all the way to the start of the school year," said Sumlin, whose school was recognized by the state last year for its progress with a largely at-risk population. "It's a problem-solving process we need to get through."

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