ERIC Number: ED376565
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994
High School Restructuring and Student Achievement. A New Study Finds Strong Links. Issue Report No. 7.
Lee, Valerie E.; Smith, Julia B.
Issues in Restructuring Schools, n7 Fall 1994
The recent movement to restructure schools has raised fundamental questions: Can changes in school structure improve student performance? Under what conditions might some structures be more effective than others? This document presents findings from Lee and Smith's study that examined the role of school restructuring on student performance. Methodology was based on an analysis of data collected as part of the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS) in 1988 and 1990. The standardized test scores of 11,794 students in mathematics, reading, social studies, and science were traced as they moved from grades 8 to 10. Information about the schools' reform efforts was used to classify the schools as traditional, moderate, or restructuring. Findings indicate that not only were student achievement gains in the first 2 years of high school significantly higher in the restructured schools than in the traditional schools, but those gains were also distributed more equitably. Students in the restructured schools learned more, as indicated by test results, and were more engaged than their counterparts. Students in smaller high schools made greater gains in academic performance in all four areas, and those gains were more equitably distributed across the student body. The results lend support to the communal, rather than bureaucratic, school model. The document includes commentaries by two academic researchers--Anthony S. Bryk and Milbrey W. McLaughlin--and an article by Leon Lynn, who presents interpretations of Lee and Smith's study by three experienced high school principals. Finally, comments are offered by the director and associate director of the Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools. Three figures are included. (LMI)
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center on Organization and Restructuring of Schools, Madison, WI.
Note: To see the complete research paper by Lee and Smith, see ED 370 210.