ERIC Number: ED441631
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Jan
The Case for Small Schools. A Special Series from the Center for Rural Affairs Monthly Newsletter.
This document compiles a series of articles from the Center for Rural Affairs monthly newsletter, January-August 1999. The series responds to public statements of some legislators, urban school board members, and others about the need to eliminate small rural schools because of their "inefficiency." Seven short articles discuss various aspects and effects of small size. The first three examine advantages of small schools compared to large schools: less crime and violence, fewer discipline problems, lower student tardiness and absenteeism, and less substance abuse and tobacco use by students; lower dropout rates and higher graduation rates; and higher and more varied extracurricular participation, which promotes academic success, better attendance, positive attitudes toward school, and enhanced social behavior. The themes of the other four articles are as follows: (1) Although state legislators often believe that school consolidation will save money, research has identified negative economic, social, and political effects of consolidation on rural communities; (2) In the aftermath of the violence at Columbine High School, it appeared that few people associated with the large school knew anything about the two murderers; (3) While urban educators are jumping on the small school bandwagon--opening new high schools and splitting existing ones into schools within a school--public policy in many states continues to promote a financing system that punishes small rural schools; and (4) Twenty-two major studies failed to show that larger schools had higher student achievement than smaller schools, and small schools in Nebraska and Vermont have performed as well or better than their larger counterparts. (Contains 10 references.) (SV)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Educational Attainment, Educational Environment, Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Public Policy, Rural Schools, School Community Relationship, School Size, Small Schools, Student School Relationship
Center for Rural Affairs, P.O. Box 406, Walthill, NE 68067. Tel: 402-846-5428. For full text: http://www.cfra.org/Small_schools.htm.
Publication Type: Collected Works - General
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for Rural Affairs, Walthill, NE.