ERIC Number: ED450991
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
High School Size, Achievement Equity, and Cost: Robust Interaction Effects and Tentative Results.
Bickel, Robert; Howley, Craig; Williams, Tony; Glascock, Catherine
Research has revealed interactive effects of school size and socioeconomic status--as school size increases, the mean measured achievement of schools with disadvantaged students declines. The larger the number of less advantaged students attending a school, the greater the decline. The same school-level interactions have been found in California, West Virginia, Alaska, Montana, Ohio, Georgia, and Texas. To improve on past research, this study, involving 1,001 Texas high schools, has controlled for more variables, namely ethnic, linguistic, socioeconomic, size, cost, and curricular composition factors. Results affirm the previous research results, giving the finding of this interactive effect a degree of consistency that is rare in educational research. This study also examined the claim that large schools with a narrow range of grades necessarily save money by achieving economies of scale. Results indicate that school size was negatively related to costs, but this relationship became increasingly tenuous as school size increased, with savings eventually becoming negligible. In addition, analysis of organizational factors distinct to the single-unit school indicates that if schools are designed solely to minimize expenditure per pupil, the best configuration may be a large single-unit school. However, if expenditure per pupil is balanced with achievement-based equity, the best configuration seems to be one small single-unit school per district. While decreased size would increase costs, the fact that there is only one school with 13-15 grade levels would substantially diminish costs. (Contains 69 references.) (TD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Rural School and Community Trust, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Economies of Scale; Texas; Unit Schools