ERIC Number: ED465474
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Small Schools: Great Strides. A Study of New Small Schools in Chicago.
Wasley, Patricia A.; Fine, Michelle; Gladden, Matt; Holland, Nicole E.; King, Sherry P.; Mosak, Esther; Powell, Linda C.
A 2-year study of small Chicago schools found that small schools, especially small high schools, help students succeed. The study focused on about 150 small schools founded in Chicago during 1990-97 and their progress through 1999. Elementary schools had fewer than 350 students; high schools fewer than 400 students. Quantitative analyses covered demographic data; attendance, retention, and dropout rates; and measures of academic achievement. Ethnographic studies were carried out in eight small schools. Chicago's new small schools served children of color, children from poorer families, and students performing at below-average levels. Schools-within-schools tended to be located in poorly performing schools but attracted the higher achievers in those schools. Teachers had education and experience similar to those of other Chicago teachers. Compared to students in larger schools, small-schools students had better attendance rates, much lower dropout rates, higher grade-point averages, higher high school graduation rates, and lower retention rates at the elementary level. Reading achievement scores increased, and average standardized test scores were holding steady--an improvement since more students were taking the tests. Violence occurred less frequently than in large schools. The intimate environment encouraged learning and increased parent participation and satisfaction and teacher collegiality and job satisfaction. Minimal conditions are outlined for successful start-up and ongoing development of small schools. Cautions and recommendations are offered for policy makers, administrators, external partners, and colleges. Appendices present methodology, control variables, and a glossary. (Contains 25 references, notes, figures, and data tables.) (SV)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Collegiality, Disadvantaged, Educational Change, Educational Environment, Educational Improvement, Elementary Secondary Education, House Plan, Institutional Characteristics, Minority Groups, Partnerships in Education, School Effectiveness, Small Schools, Teacher Role, Urban Schools
For full text: http://www.bnkst.edu/html/news/SmallSchools.pdf.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Joyce Foundation, Chicago, IL.
Authoring Institution: Bank Street Coll. of Education, New York, NY.
IES Cited: ED502502