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Letter: Class size, ratio not the same

Published May 16, 2014 4:24 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Thanks for another article on class size and student-teacher ratios in our public schools ("Will Salt Lake City shrink class sizes?" May 12).

I don't doubt the numbers, but caution that these two measures are not the same. The student-teacher ratio divides the total number of students by the total number of certified teachers in the school. Class size divides the total number of students by the smaller number of certified teachers who are teaching at that time, rather than serving as a librarian, etc., or working on lesson plans during their preparation period. The latter reveals more kids actually in the room.

Statistics can be valuable, but let's make sure we don't confuse similar but different types of data.

Andy White

Salt Lake City