ERIC Number: ED361162
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Size, Cost, and Quality of Schools and School Districts: A Question of Context.
A literature review examines research and reports on school and school district size as they relate to educational quality and finance. Sections cover: (1) research on the relationships of size to course offerings, teacher qualifications, student achievement, student behavior, student participation, and school climate; (2) state level reports concerned with school or district consolidation efforts, with examples illustrating how cases for and against consolidation are typically framed; and (3) publications and reports on the issue of equity in school finance. The research shows that any type of school (small or large, urban, suburban, or rural) can achieve successful outcomes. Much of the confusion around size issues is related to asking the wrong questions or putting questions in the wrong context. A school is not a building, but rather a learning community. The organization within the building is a key element to be considered. School district size is an even more elusive variable to judge since the nature and mission of the school district are not uniformly defined. Institutional arrangements peculiar to each state affect the resources and services available to small districts. New technology has the potential to make many size issues insignificant. The optimum size for educational institutions is an elastic concept related to institutional mission and setting and available resources. Researchers and policymakers should consult those affected by size decisions to gain perspective on the historical, cultural, and political context of the affected community. (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.