ERIC Number: ED307096
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Disparities in Curricular Offerings: Issues and Policy Alternatives for Small Rural Schools. Policy Issues.
Monk, David H.
This review explores the debate on optimal school size and discusses policy options available to states for expanding curricular offerings in small rural schools. Policy options are divided into three broad categories: traditional, modified traditional, and nontraditional. The report explores the possibilities available under each approach, documents instances where various policies have been pursued, and offers speculation regarding largely untried alternatives. The traditional approach reflects the belief that low enrollment levels contribute to inadequate program offerings. Policies falling under this rubric include mandates for small districts to consolidate into larger ones. The modified traditional approach is similar except that it is more tolerant of locally developed means of raising enrollment levels. The nontraditional approach differs substantially from the other two because it places less emphasis on low enrollment as the primary source of difficulty for small rural schools. Instead, problems are viewed as having more to do with the utilization of available technology, the quality and nature of teacher resources, low fiscal capacity, and nonsize-related features of ruralness (such as isolation). The goal of the nontraditional approach is to address more directly the perceived causes of difficulty rather than to increase school sizes. It calls for further development of instructional technologies, more creative uses of itinerant services, alternative scheduling (such as the four-day week), and programs designed to enhance diversity. The document takes the position that each of the three policies holds promise, and pays particular attentions to the possibilities associated with residential schools (the traditional approach), locally designed reorganizations (the modified traditional approach), and the use of instructional technologies (the nontraditional approach). (TES)
Descriptors: Boarding Schools, Change Strategies, Consolidated Schools, Educational Improvement, Educational Innovation, Educational Planning, Educational Technology, Elementary Secondary Education, Enrollment, Public Policy, Public Schools, Resource Allocation, Rural Schools, School District Autonomy, School Size, Small Schools
Appalachia Educational Laboratory, Inc., P. O. Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325 ($4.50 prepaid).
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Appalachia Educational Lab., Charleston, WV.