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ERIC Number: ED451018
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Apr-1
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
The Disappearing Local School in Two Appalachian States.
Howley, Craig
This paper discusses "constructions" of school size in West Virginia and Ohio and related issues concerned with school and school district consolidation, and the role of education, politics, and globalization. "School size" is not the same as enrollment; grade span and level are important in understandings of size. Socioeconomic status also has an impact, so no one best size fits all cases. Research has shown that small school size and small district size diminish the well-known relationship between socioeconomic status and academic achievement. In contrast to Ohio's 614 school districts, West Virginia has only 55--one for each county. Such large rural districts have considerable power in terms of local employment and politics. In Ohio, the state has long been frustrated in terms of consolidating districts and has now turned to consolidating schools within smaller districts, using the single-campus design in which all schools and district offices are located in one place. The Ohio consolidators have had a hard time convincing the people to give up local engagement with school districts but are having more success in separating communities from their schools. Unfortunately, this bad news is the old bad news. The ongoing bad news concerns changes in who constructs the institutional purposes of schooling and what those purposes are. The purpose of mass education shifted from supporting the existence of nation-states in the 19th century to defending the nation in the mid-20th century, and now it is being affected by the globalization of economics and politics. Schools that are locally cherished will help people resist global trends, but not under the guidance of those whose allegiance lies elsewhere. (SV)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ohio; West Virginia