Small Voices Need for Smaller Class Sizes

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Buffalo, New York  State Senate Candidate Amber Small is advocating for smaller class sizes in local schools, something that teachers and parents agree is critical to student success.

In regards to the issue of class sizes, Small said, “Smaller class sizes enable teachers to give students the individual attention they need in order to succeed. Children need to feel like they are an individual, not a number. However, this isn’t just an education issue. Classes with less students also provide a tight-knit feeling which helps kids interact with one another from a social aspect.”

It has been reported that some Buffalo teachers have classrooms with up to 40 children in them. There’s been research done on the topic and most of it concludes that children are more likely to excel in smaller class sizes, especially in younger grades.

The Institute of Education Sciences, who are responsible for doing research on behalf of the US Department of Education, concluded that “class size reduction is one of only four, evidence-based reforms that have been proven to increase student achievement through rigorous, randomized experiments -- the "gold standard" of research.” Studies relating to this topic performed in multiple states went on to conclude the students who ended up benefiting the most from small class sizes were children from poor and minority backgrounds. These children experienced twice the gains as the average student. Princeton’s Alan Krueger has estimated that the the achievement gap shrinks by about 38% when class sizes are reduced in earlier grades.

For more information about Amber Small and her campaign for Senate, please visit www.smallforsenate.com.

1 U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences, “Identifying and Implementing Educational Practices Supported by Rigorous Evidence: a User Friendly Guide,” December 2003 at: http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/rigorousevid/rigorousevid.pdf

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Small serves as the Executive Director of the Parkside Community Association. In this role she is an advocate for 2,500 residents, working to enhance their quality of life through crime prevention, traffic calming, fair housing advocacy and more.  Amber also serves on the Board of Directors for B-Team Buffalo and proudly serves as Vice Chair of WEPAC, a nonpartisan group focused on increasing female involvement in politics and government. Amber is a graduate of the University at Buffalo, and resides in North Buffalo’s Parkside neighborhood with her family. New York's Sixtieth Senate District is located wholly in Erie County and includes the communities of Tonawanda, City of Tonawanda, Kenmore, Grand Island, Hamburg, Orchard Park, Evans, Brant, and the City of Buffalo.  Small is endorsed by the Democratic Party, the Working Families Party and the Women’s Equality Party.