ERIC Number: ED448961
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
School District Size and School Performance. Rural Education Issue Digest.
Howley, Craig B.
This digest looks at school district size and its possible relationship to school performance, defined here as aggregate achievement of a school's students on state-mandated tests. An overview of size issues briefly discusses class size, school size, district size, and organizational "scaling" or coordination of various levels of size. Historical changes in school district size for 1937-97 are examined, followed by current variation in district size by rural/urban and nonmetropolitan/metropolitan locale categories. The predominance of smaller school districts in all locale categories and the concentration of larger districts in certain states are pointed out. Research in California, West Virginia, Georgia, Montana, Ohio, and Texas is reviewed indicating that the negative influence of socioeconomic status on academic performance is reduced in smaller schools and school districts, often dramatically. In impoverished communities, small schools in small districts boosted school performance. In addition, smaller districts and smaller schools demonstrated greater achievement equity. Implications for district consolidation decisions, research needs, and policy analysis needs are discussed. (Contains 49 notes.) (SV)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, Poverty, Rural Schools, School District Reorganization, School District Size, School Districts, School Effectiveness, School Size, Socioeconomic Influences
Full text at Web site: http://www.ael.org/rel/rural/pdf/digest3.pdf.
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: AEL, Inc., Charleston, WV.