Wisconsin SAGE program’s 15-student limit is often exceeded, report says

Amy Hetzner:

About half of the classrooms participating in the state’s school class-size reduction program in 2006-’07 exceeded its 15-student limit at least part of the school day, according to a recent report.
Dwindling resources and enrollment fluctuations were the main reasons given for the variation, according to the report by the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Although the report raises concerns about such practices, including that some school administrators seemed unaware of the program’s 15-student maximum, it concludes, “There are multiple ways to implement reduced class size well.”
The report is part of the state Department of Public Instruction’s regular monitoring of the $111 million SAGE program – Student Achievement Guarantee in Education – that aims to reduce class sizes for kindergarten through third grade in more than 470 Wisconsin schools. The center has another study in the works looking at long-term quantitative results from the program.