In North Carolina, educators were polled from throughout the state to find out what would be the most effective measure to attract teachers to work in low-performing schools. The number one response was lowering class size, with 83.7% of teachers and 83.1% of administrators replying that this way, far outstripping any other proposal, including providing salary enhancements --which came out at number five.
A just-released Public Agenda survey found that 76% of teachers say that reducing class size would be a "very effective" method to improve teacher quality, compared to fewer than one in six who believed that tying salary increases to their students' performance would be. (You can click on the chart to enlarge it.)
If the administration were really serious about enticing teachers to work in our most challenging schools, and keeping them there longer, it would immediately cap class sizes at reasonable levels. As the Times editorial points out, this would be a better way to improve student achievement in these schools as well: