ERIC Number: ED433173
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Aug-8
Reference Count: N/A
The Matthew Project: State Report for Montana.
Howley, Craig B.
Previous studies found that the small size of schools or school districts mitigated the negative influence of poverty on academic achievement in California, Alaska, and West Virginia. The Matthew Project extends this research in four additional states selected to provide varied settings. Montana has a remarkable number of small schools and small districts, has a substantial minority (American Indian) population, and has not yet joined the systemic reform craze sweeping the nation. In this report, Montana data were used in regression equations that predict overall school or district achievement from measures of size, socioeconomic status (SES), and the product of size and SES. These equations illuminate possible "excellence effects" of size by showing which communities (based on SES-level) may benefit or lose from increases in school or district size. Equity effects of size on achievement were also tested by computing the correlation between SES and achievement in groups of larger and smaller schools and districts. The excellence effect was comparatively weak, but the equity effect of size was very strong, with dramatically reduced correlations between SES and achievement for smaller schools and districts. Montana leads the nation in National Assessment of Educational Progress scores, while spending average per-pupil amounts on public schooling. Montana's small-scale schooling probably cultivates academic achievement in impoverished communities, a conclusion actually supported by the weak excellence effect. Appendices include a regression model and statistical data. (Contains 21 references and 14 data tables.) (SV)
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Rural Challenge Policy Program, Randolph, VT.
Authoring Institution: Ohio State Univ., Columbus.; Appalachia Educational Lab., Charleston, WV.
Identifiers - Location: Montana