# Factors Influencing Student Outcomes and How They Interact – 08 – Student-Teacher Ratio # Factors Influencing Student Outcomes and How They Interact – 08 – Student-Teacher Ratio

In response to the feedback received on “Educational Funding and Student Outcomes: The Relationship as Evidenced by State-Level Data,” the KASB Research Department is working on a “Part II” which will dig further into other factors that impact student outcomes, and how funding impacts when these other factors are taken into consideration.
In this series of blog posts, I will describe the preliminary correlation analysis comparing these factors (independent variables) with each other in an attempt to show how closely tied to each other they are.

### Today’s topic is Student to Teacher Ratio

NCES provides information on the number of students and the number of teachers by state and year; which can be used to calculate the average number of students per teacher.
In terms of other independent variables, I will list the interactions in terms of the strength of the highest correlation between variables observed; Strong (+/- 1.0 to 0.5), Moderate (+/- 0.5 to 0.3), Weak (+/- .03 to 0.1), and None or Very Weak (+/- 0.1 to 0.0).

#### Strong

• There is a strong negative correlation between the percent of special education students and the student teacher ratio; indicating that states with fewer special education students have more students per teacher.
• There is a strong positive correlation between percent of students participating in ELL programs and student-teacher ratio; indicating that states with higher percents of students receiving English language learner services have more students per teacher.
• There is a moderate to strong negative correlation between student-teacher ratio and all measures of school spending; indicating that states with higher per pupil spending also have fewer students per teacher.

#### Moderate

• There is a moderate negative relationship between the number of students per teacher and percent of 18 to 24 year olds with at least a high school diploma and no correlation between the student teacher ratio and all other measures of educational attainment.  This indicates that states with fewer students per teacher have more residents ages 18 to 24 who have graduated from high school.
• There is a weak to moderate negative correlation between student teacher ratio and per capita personal income but no correlation between student teacher ratio and median household income; suggesting states with more students per teacher are also likely to have lower per capita personal income.

#### Weak

• There is no correlation between percent of graduates taking the ACT exam and student-teacher ratio, but there is a weak negative correlation between percent of graduates taking the SAT and student teacher ratios; indicating graduates from states with more students per teacher are less likely to take the SAT.
• There is a weak positive correlation between percent of students eligible for free or reduced price lunch and the student-teacher ratio; indicating that states with higher percents of at-risk students also have more students per teacher.
• There is a weak negative correlation between student-teach ratio and the percent of white students, a moderate positive correlation between student-teacher ratio and the percent of Hispanic students, and no correlation between student-teacher ratio and percent of black or American Indian or Alaska Native students; indicating that states with higher percents of white students and lower percents of Hispanic students have fewer students per teacher.
• There is a weak negative correlation between student-teacher ratio and instruction spending as a percent of both current spending and total revenue; indicating that states with more students per teacher allocate less to expenses classified as “instruction.”
• There is a weak positive to no correlation between student teacher ratio and poverty; indicating that states with more students per teacher are somewhat more likely to have higher poverty levels.
• There is a weak negative correlation between student teacher ratio and persons per square mile; indicating that state with more student per teacher also tend to be less densely populated.

#### None or Very Weak

• There is no correlation between period and student-teacher ratio; indicating that there is not a consistent trend of either increases or decreases in the number of students per teacher over time.
• There is no correlation between state cost-of-living (RPP) and student-teacher ratios.
• There is no correlation between student-teacher ratio and average teacher salaries.