The impact of a universal class-size reduction policy: Evidence from Florida's statewide mandate
Class-size reduction (CSR) mandates presuppose that resources provided to reduce class size will have a larger impact on student outcomes than resources that districts can spend as they see fit. I estimate the impact of Florida's statewide CSR policy by comparing the deviations from prior achievement trends in districts that were required to reduce class size to deviations from prior trends in districts that received equivalent resources but were not required to reduce class size. I use the same comparative interrupted time series design to compare schools that were differentially affected by the policy (in terms of whether they had to reduce class size) but that did not receive equal additional resources. The results from both the district- and school-level analyses indicate that mandated CSR in Florida had little, if any, effect on student achievement.
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