NASHVILLE - Gov. Bill Haslam downplayed concerns about the impact that local education cuts will on class size across Tennessee, telling student leaders that teacher quality ultimately matters more.
"Most studies have shown that teacher class size is not as direct a relationship to achievement as people have thought in the past, that having a great teacher with 25 students is better than having a mediocre teacher with 18 students, OK?," Haslam said today.
He told the hundreds of rising high-school seniors attending the Volunteer Girls State leadership program that he is "trying to push our education [system] toward making sure we have a great teacher in front of every classroom regardless of the classroom size."
Haslam's comments were made during a question-and-answer session with students attending the Nashville program.
They come as a number of school systems prepare to make major cuts in their budgets as federal stimulus funds run out.
For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.