1 Introduction</h5> Education policy often seeks to improve student outcomes through broad based initiatives designed at the federal and state levels and implemented through local school districts. By setting standards for student achievement and addressing procedures for the provision of educational inputs, these initiatives create the constraints under which local administrators operate. One of the larger efforts in education policy research has been the study of the effect of resource constraints on student achievement, and within that, one policy studied has been the effect of class size on achievement. From a policy perspective, states typically establish a maximum number of pupils per class for schools. Districts allocate resources to schools based on estimates of the number of students and the resulting number of teachers required to satisfy the state class size mandate. Principals then determine the number of students to place in a classroom.</P>There is a large literature that has examined these policies and the effect of class size on student performance. The assumption is that class size influences student learning because it directly affects the degree to which the teacher can react to individual student learning differences and, thus, alters the effectiveness of the teacher. 2 2
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