During a recent discussion about where the resources should be spent to truly maximize impact, I realized where the biggest impact of smaller classes can be felt. A teacher with 15 years of experience can handle a classroom of 30 students. They can handle it quite well and address individual differences. I have seen it in action within my own school and I am confident that with more years of experience, I could handle my own classroom of 30 much better. So perhaps the solution is not smaller classes across the board, but instead smaller classes for new teachers.
Also, check out the comment by Ed Researcher, who also factors in the pay issue in a unique way.
Hat Tip: Carnival of Education--Week 67.