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Many students at elite public New York City high schools write fewer than five research essays a year, according to surv

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This article offers the truth about how class size effects teachers and students. What is crucial for students to do in order to acquire the skills necessary to write well?

One crucial element is practice. No skill, not tying a shoelace, riding a bike or playing an instrument can be acquired without practice.

Large class size impedes this crucial practice, because the teacher's assessment is essential, and no teacher can read, assess and respond to voluminous student writing.

I was one of the most successful teachers of writing. These NYC kids came in writing 100 words and left writing 1000 to 3000 words, and I READ EVERY WORD, and I responded to their ideas at length, suggesting improvements each week, for writing a clearer sentence, or using a better word choice.

In 1990 I had 74 students; In 1998 I had 138 students. It became impossible to read their writing,

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