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Class size really does matter

SIOUX FALLS  — When it comes to class size, small is beautiful — or at least better — for K-12 students.

In a new policy brief, Diane Schanzenbach, associate professor of human development and social policy at Northwestern University, points out that having a manageable class size really does make a difference in how well students do in school.

Student-teacher ratios in public schools fell steadily for about 40 years — until recently, she said. In the past five years, the average class size in the United States has increased 5 percent, to almost 22 students per classroom.

In South Dakota, the National Center for Education Statistics says class size is about 19 students in elementary school, and more than 26 students in high school classes.