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ERIC Number: ED486156
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Dec
Pages: 28
Abstractor: ERIC
Big Buildings, Small Schools: Using a Small Schools Strategy for High School Reform
Allen, Lili; Steinberg, Adria
Jobs for the Future
A growing number of school districts around the country are using small school development as a central strategy for improving high schools and overhauling the way the district itself does business. Driven by an increasing sense of urgency and frustration with reforms that fail to fundamentally change the quality of instruction or the nature of student-teacher relationships, they are transforming large, under-performing high schools into "education complexes" made up of multiple autonomous small schools under one roof. For school districts, this conversion process offers a potentially powerful opportunity for a "defining moment" of change--an opportunity to provide the most fertile conditions for excellent teaching and learning. A small schools strategy provides educational leaders with an opportunity to fundamentally rethink such key areas as administrative structures, staff roles, student/teacher relationships, course sequences, subject matter, the use of time, community partnerships, and parent engagement. Communities undertaking a small schools strategy are developing answers to two basic issues: (1) how quickly to proceed; and (2) what process to undertake in developing and managing small schools. This report examines a range of strategies being undertaken by districts across the country to plan and launch multiple small schools within the walls of large high schools. It also explores implementation issues that arise concerning school-level autonomies, governance, and leadership of high school reform at the district level, and it delves into the challenges for "central office" leaders of managing a system of learning options that offers a broader range of choices for students and parents. (Contains 15 endnotes.)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Jobs for the Future, Boston, MA.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A