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Evaluating the SAGE Program: A Pilot Program in Targeted Pupil-Teacher Reduction in Wisconsin

Wisconsin's Student Achievement Guarantee in Education (SAGE) program was designed as a 5-year K-3 pilot project that began in the 1996-97 school year. The program requires that participating schools implement 4 interventions including reducing the pupil-teacher ratio within classrooms to 15 students per teacher. The SAGE evaluation uses a quasi-experimental, comparative change design utilizing descriptive statistics, linear regression, and hierarchical linear modeling. In addition, qualitative analyses of life in SAGE schools and classrooms are conducted. Results of the 1996-97 and 1997-98 first grade data reveal findings consistent with the Tennessee STAR class size experiment. Also, individualization emerged as a key characteristic of instruction in SAGE classrooms.

This article was originally published in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, volume 21 number 2, pages 165-177.