ERIC Number: ED401069
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Alternative Organizational Plans: Options for Consideration.
Jolly, Deborah V.; Deloney, Patricia
This synthesis aims to provide policymakers with a comprehensive overview of issues surrounding the reorganization of small rural school districts. The report draws on research findings and describes examples of various organizational arrangements to address rural education needs. Seven sections examine the following: (1) current social and economic conditions in rural communities and common challenges, including the high percentage of at-risk rural students, leading to renewed interest in district reorganization; (2) research addressing relationships between school size and school effectiveness, curricular offerings, dropout rates, student achievement (especially that of disadvantaged and at-risk students), and financial efficiency; (3) background and history of rural school consolidation; (4) positive and negative effects of school consolidation on schools and communities; (5) arrangements between districts and other organizations that provide alternatives to total school reorganization; (6) information about distance education technology as it relates to district reorganization; and (7) conclusions. The research shows not only that larger schools do not guarantee improved quality or efficiency, but also that small schools are positively associated with achievement and many factors that promote it. Partial reorganization alternatives involve cooperative efforts between districts or between districts and other organizations, thus increasing the size of the population served or of the resource base without the negative effects of total mergers. Distance education provides a means to expand curriculum and facilitate district cooperation. Contains 142 references. (SV)
Descriptors: Consolidated Schools, Distance Education, Elementary Secondary Education, High Risk Students, Institutional Cooperation, Literature Reviews, Mergers, Rural Education, Rural Schools, School District Reorganization, School Districts, School Size, Shared Resources and Services, Small Schools
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Southwest Educational Development Lab., Austin, TX.