ERIC Number: ED213070
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Feb
Reference Count: 0
School Size: A Reassessment of the Small School. Research Action Brief Number 21.
ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, Eugene, OR.
The movement toward school consolidation was triggered by James Bryant Conant's contention that larger schools are more efficient and offer more comprehensive programs. Many studies seem to support the claim that larger schools are cheaper to operate. Yet problems with these studies include wide variation in the minimum, optimum, and maximum sizes favored by writers and difficulties in comparing cost figures. Furthermore, there is great disagreement in the research about whether larger schools in fact offer higher quality education. Some studies suggest that schools can be both too small and too large to be effective, with 1,600 to 1,700 suggested as the optimum size for high schools. The most reliable studies show that size makes no difference in academic achievement. Regardless of research findings, parents favor smaller schools. Research suggests that this predilection may result from the presence of innovative and involved teachers, supportive atmosphere, and closer connections between principal and staff in small schools. Perhaps educators should look for ways to overcome shortcomings of small schools and accentuate their advantages. (Author/JM)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Comprehensive Programs, Consolidated Schools, Cost Effectiveness, Educational Quality, Educational Research, Efficiency, Elementary Secondary Education, Expenditure per Student, Input Output Analysis, Public Opinion, School Size, School Support, Small Schools
ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403 (free).
Publication Type: Information Analyses; ERIC Publications
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, Eugene, OR.