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Smaller is better

August 5, 2020

Smaller is Better

In grades 1-8, I attended a Lutheran parish school composed of three rooms, three teachers and a principal.

If we had been hit by a viral pandemic, we could have continued with minor disruptions. After all, that is how we adjusted to chicken pox, measles and mumps.

Four years later, my high school in a different city and state graduated 1,125 students.  Had we been hit by a viral pandemic; continued instruction would have been severely disrupted.

We might have continued with online classes, but only if a system for online instruction had been developed and tested several years before.

That is the dilemma facing public education in the United States today and there are only two solutions:

  • Reduce the size of each school for grades 1-8 to 250 students and assign 1 teacher per 25 students. That means a return to the neighborhood school and the end of busing!
  • Immediately develop and test online courses for grades 9-12 and continue in-class instruction until results for online courses are satisfactory.

That runs counter to how we have organized public education into large and extensive buildings with multiple classrooms.

In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, from here until this virus is beaten, smaller is better.


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