Larger classes make teaching greater task - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Larger classes make teaching greater task

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January 12, 2004

Albany- Tiffani McClung's fourth period U.S. History class at Westover High School is one of her smallest of the day.

"Most of my classes in U.S. History are 30, right at state limit," McClung said.

That limits what teachers can do. Mrs. McClung says she knows less is more. She sees it in their grades.

"You get to know the students, you get to know the problems that they have that might affect their learning ability."

Research says she's right. That's why Lt. Governor Mark Taylor is calling for a constitutional amendment on class-size. It's an issue, he says, that's on the minds of Georgians.

"They're worried about their kids and the increase in class sizes, they see at their schools," Taylor said.

It's an issue that legislators know they will face this year. State education has suffered millions in budget cuts in the past two years, and school systems are feeling the crunch. Now they'll be looking to lawmakers for help.

"There is no way that we as legislators or as a state can be committed to enhancing the quality of education without reducing class sizes," said Representative Winfred Dukes, D-Albany.

Small classes are an important learning tool for teachers. But they're educated enough to know the reality.

"Locally, can the local government be able to hire enough teachers," said McClung said.

Regardless if more money flows into these walls, it's the teachers who are already here who are held accountable for the success of these students.

posted at 6:08 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com