Leading author says reduce teacher workload
William Ouchi argues in a new book coming out this month that one of the keys to student achievement is decreasing the Total Student Load or TSL. He says teachers should teach no more than 80 students at a time. The reason this book may be of interest here in Baltimore is that Ouchi's first book, "Making Schools Work," touched off a change to decentralization in New York and other major cities. Andres Alonso, who came here from New York, immediately gave principals more authority over their budget and their curriculum. And that, Ouchi argues, often has led to principals making decisions to hire more teachers and reduce other staff in the building so that teachers have fewer students. This change does not mean that classes are necessarily smaller, although I guess it could. Rather it means that the typical high school teacher may teach fewer classes. So instead of having to grade 120 student papers, the teacher only has to worry about grading 80.
This research is written about in a recent piece in Education Week. The work follows from a report done several years ago in Maryland on writing that concluded the most important changes that could be made to improve writing would be to reduce the workload of English teachers. I haven't heard that happening around the state, but I may have missed a trend.
I wonder if any city teachers have seen a reduction in their workload as a result of decentralization? What is happening to teachers in surrounding counties? Is your workload increasing?