ERIC Number: ED396861
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr-6
Reference Count: N/A
The Relationship between Elementary School Size and Student Achievement.
This paper examines the relationship between school size and student achievement in California elementary schools with varying student characteristics and urban/rural locations. Previous research on school size addressed questions of scale economy, efficiency, and equity, but was not conclusive regarding the effect of elementary school size on student performance. For this analysis, data on 4,337 California K-6 schools included third-grade mean scores on the California Assessment Program for 1986-87; total enrollment; percentage of students whose families received Aid to Families with Dependent Children; percentage of students with limited English proficiency; and school location (urban, suburban, or other nonurban). Results of stepwise linear regression, one-way analysis of variance, and trend analysis indicate that larger schools are not associated with improved student performance, even when comparing schools with similar student characteristics. In fact, for urban schools serving high percentages of students in poverty, school size and student performance displayed a negative linear relationship, with student performance best in schools with under 200 students. For schools serving low percentages of students in poverty, student performance may be best in the middle range of size (200-800 students). A linear and quadratic function appears to best represent the relationship between school size and achievement for all schools and for all urban schools, while linear functions best represent the relationship for suburban schools and for other nonurban schools. Contains 60 references and 18 data tables and figures. (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).