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Letter to the House of Representatives urging cosponsorship of Representative Wu's class size reduction bill

June 26, 2007

Dear Representative:


On behalf of the National Education Association's (NEA) 3.2 million members, we urge you to add your name as a cosponsor of legislation (H.R. 2668) introduced by Representative Wu (D-OR) that would help reduce class sizes through recruitment and training of highly qualified teachers.  

Reducing class sizes has a positive impact on maximizing student learning and closing achievement gaps. Simply stated -- when qualified teachers teach smaller classes in modern schools, students learn more. Teachers with small classes can spend time and energy helping each child succeed. Smaller classes also enhance safety, discipline, and order in the classroom. 

Research clearly demonstrates these positive impacts. Tennessee's longitudinal class-size study -- the Student Teacher Achievement Ratio (STAR) project -- found that students enrolled in small classes as youngsters were more likely to complete advanced math and English courses, finish high school, graduate on time, and graduate with honors than their peers who did not benefit from reduced class sizes. A report by the American Educational Research Association found that, for minority students and students in inner-city schools, smaller classes can reduce the achievement gap and lead to fewer students dropping out or being held back, fewer disciplinary actions, and more students taking college entrance exams.

H.R. 2668 would provide grants to help school districts reduce class sizes, particularly in the early grades, by recruiting and providing professional development for qualified teachers. In so doing, H.R. 2668 would make a real difference in helping fulfill every child's basic right to a great public school. 

To add your name as a cosponsor on this important legislation, please contact Kris Pratt in the office of Representative Wu at 5-0855. We thank you for your attention to this important issue. 


Sincerely,


Diane Shust
Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody
Manager of Federal Advocacy