ERIC Number: ED361160
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Modern Conceptions of Educational Quality and State Policy Regarding Small Schooling Units.
Monk, David H.
While existing research on school and school district size is not as conclusive as policymakers might wish, it does point toward several new policy directions. Some relevant findings and recommendations are: (1) a larger school or district enrollment does not guarantee desirable results; (2) recommended school sizes have been declining over time, with recent reform efforts emphasizing the restructuring of education, local decision making and autonomy, and establishing "schools within schools" in settings where the school has been judged as too large; (3) each reorganization is highly individualistic (thus reducing the role of "expert knowledge"); (4) as measures of learning outcomes become more refined and more widely available, it becomes less important for the state to specify sizes and organizational structures for schools and districts; and (5) policymakers should remain receptive to novel approaches to reorganization, since the remaining small schools and school districts in the United States are almost without exception "hard cases" to which conventional approaches are not applicable. In place of the "all or nothing" reorganization approach typically sought by state departments of education, a range of alternative approaches has emerged. These include cooperatives and clusters that use a variety of strategies to cooperate across organizational boundaries, locally designed partial or gradual reorganizations, and cross-function reorganizations in which a single administrative structure oversees all rural community services (including education). (SV)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Source Book on School and District Size, Cost, and Quality; see RC 019 318.