Size Matters

How The Largest School In The World Boasts 45 Kids Per Class And Through-The-Roof Test Scores

You’re desperately trying to get Junior into PS012 (kids per classroom) because you know small class size is directly analogous to future yacht ownership, but maybe you should be trying to get them into City Montessori School, in Lucknow, India — the largest school in the world, according to Guinness Book Of World Records.

The Guardian reports that 40 percent of kids at CMS (as the cool kids call it) score in the 90th percentile nationally, with a class overage of 80 percent. The school goes from pre-K to Grade 12, has an average class size of 45 students, an average building population of 7,500 students, and a total of 52,000 students across 20 campuses. You read that right. So how are all these kids performing so well academically? Maybe the art classes are really awesome, or maybe it’s because their teachers are treated very, very well.

Teachers receive a one-percent bonus every time their class size exceeds 45, and a 10 million-rupee cash bonus (that’s about $140K, U.S.) every time their students perform well in nationwide exams. They respond by investing in those classes, making monthly home visits to evaluate everything from student habits to furniture arrangements. Meanwhile, they receive consistent evaluations and professional development, plus assistance like “notebook checkers” who double check student homework. Every Child Achieves, indeed.

Could any of this work in U.S. schools? Maybe, maybe not, but there’s some evidence that paying teachers more (like, in the 6 figures more) does translate to academic success. One thing that isn’t known is whether or not those kids at CMS are as happy as the Fins, who are no academic slouches themselves. So if northern India isn’t your speed, maybe check real estate in Helsinki.

[H/T]: The Guardian