Messages for Mitt Romney: “Education is not one-size-fits-all”

Mitt Romney says smaller class sizes aren’t the answer when it comes to improving our schools—here’s what a few teachers and students had to say in response:

“I teach 7th grade language arts. When you put 36 kids in my room for only 50 minutes a day, that is less than 1.5 minutes a day to talk to each and every one of them about reading and writing. Does Mitt Romney think that 1.5 minutes a day of reading and writing instruction is enough? Kids learn by interacting with adults. They deserve more.” — Susan, Ohio

“Try teaching English in a classroom of 30-plus students. To improve student writing at the high school level, it is necessary to offer individual feedback on student composition. Without that, students do not have adequate direction for improvement. When class sizes become larger, it takes longer to read students’ work. The longer it takes, the less the teacher can assign or assess. It’s that simple.” — Jay, Michigan

“We as students do not want to feel like just another face within the crowd. Many of us have different learning styles and learn at different rates. If we were to have larger classes, then students would have more difficulty receiving one-on-one attention and assistance. The relationship students build with teachers is at times very important. I know for certain that it helped me.” — Johnny, California

“The more kids in a class, the less likely that I will actually get to know them, and the less likely that I can advocate for them the way they deserve.” —Kristen, Florida

“Education is not one-size-fits-all. The result of a large class filled with students from all parts of the spectrum: Nobody gets the type of attention and instruction they desperately need to work with their skill set and achieve their potential.” — Rachel, New York

“Large classes mean more time is lost waiting for focus, recovering from transitions, and distributing materials. The fewer students are in a class, the stronger a relationship the teacher can have with them. As class size balloons, teachers are forced to spend more of their energy on classroom management instead of curriculum instruction, and the amount of constructive, qualitative feedback that you can give to students and families suffers. I invite any politician to try teaching public high school for a year and then talk about school system success.” — Jennifer, Oregon