Shrinking class size equals increased budget

Even though I have never encountered any denial or resistance from legislators of my thesis that they are-with a very few easily identifiable exceptions-more intelligent and linguistically-skilled than the rest of us, it may be useful to furnish a case-in-point as partial proof, on the linguistic side.

It showed up deep in the normally dry pages of legislative statutes and regulations; the language of the rulers now easily available to the ruled in ways not imaginable prior to the may-I-say class traitorous invention of the Internet by one of their own a couple of decades ago.

Like the vulgate Bible, translated from Latin to Old German by Martin Luther, the recent placement of actual governmental language, where the locals can read it, has brought to light all manner of interesting revelations. Here's one-

The moment of epiphany arrived in the course of comparing K-12 student test scores in Tennessee with those in Vermont, a state-to-state comparison exercise which is possible, by intent, with the published but not-widely-distributed National Assessment of Educational Progress federal tests and is not possible, by intent, with the locally-purchased and -publicized NECAP tests in Vermont and TCAP tests in Tennessee. In the NAEP, the pupil-teacher ratio stats (close to, but not precisely identical with, average class size) show Tennessee at 15.7-to-1 and Vermont at 10.8-to-1, about a 50 percent difference which represents most of the difference in annual per-pupil spending: Tennessee at $7.7K, Vermont at $13.6K. A commensurate 50% difference in test scores doesn't show up in the stats: in 4th grade reading, (for the white student cohort, to keep comparisons balanced) the NAEP shows Vermont students at 229 and Tennessee at 224. For the entire USA, with a p/t ratio of 15.5, 4th graders score 230, and for Vermont, they score 229. In Utah, with a class size of 22, they score 226. These closely bunched results (on a 0-500 scale, none "excellent") don't distribute as official edu-crat doctrine -"smaller classes produce higher test scores"-has been predicting for 30 years, promising markedly better results for the smaller classes and worse results for the larger ones.

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