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ERIC Number: ED497981
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
More Doesn't Mean Better: Larger High Schools and More Courses Do Not Boost Student Achievement in Iowa High Schools
Johnson, Jerry
Rural School and Community Trust
In March 2005, Governor Tom Vilsack and a committee of 12 legislators endorsed proposals intended to "make Iowa's public schools more efficient and improve achievement." Among the proposals was one calling for an education commission that would recommend to the 2007 Legislature a minimum school district and high school size. In light of these calls for consolidating school districts to create larger high schools offering more course units as a means of raising student achievement, the Rural School and Community Trust set out to investigate the relationship between student academic performance and enrollment size/number of course units offered. Their intent was to determine what influence, if any, enrollment size and the breadth of curricular offerings has on student performance. Two primary research questions guided the analyses: (1) In what ways and to what extent does student academic achievement vary among Iowa school districts of varying enrollment size?; and (2) In what ways and to what extent does the number of high school course units impact academic achievement in Iowa school districts? Results indicate that consolidating Iowa's smaller districts would not contribute to improvements in student achievement. (Contains 5 tables, 6 figures, and 15 footnotes.) [This paper was published by the Policy Program of the Rural School and Community Trust.]
Rural School and Community Trust. 1530 Wilson Boulevard #240, Arlington, VA 22209. Tel: 703-243-1487; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Rural School and Community Trust, Randolph, VT.
Identifiers - Location: Iowa