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ERIC Number: ED501660
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar
Pages: 41
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
Mission Matters: The Cost of Small High Schools Revisited. IESP Working Paper #08-03
Stiefel, Leanna; Schwartz, Amy Ellen; Iatorola, Patrice; Chellman, Colin C.
Institute for Education and Social Policy, New York University
With the financial support of several large foundations and the federal government, creating small schools has become a prominent high school reform strategy in many large American cities. While some research supports this strategy, little research assesses the relative costs of these smaller schools. Data on over 200 New York City high schools, from 1996 through 2003, is used to estimate school cost functions relating per pupil expenditures to school size, controlling for school output and quality, student characteristics, and school organization. The authors find that the structure of costs differs across schools depending upon mission--comprehensive or themed. At their current levels of outputs, themed schools minimize per pupil costs at smaller enrollments than comprehensive schools, but these optimally-sized themed schools also cost more per pupil than optimally-sized comprehensive schools. The authors also find that both themed and comprehensive high schools at actual sizes are smaller than their optimal sizes. (Contains 5 tables and 2 figures.)
Institute for Education and Social Policy. New York University, Joseph and Violet Pless Hall, 82 Washington Square East, New York, NY 10003. Tel: 212-998-5880; Fax: 212-995-4564; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Carnegie Corp. of New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: New York Univ., NY. Inst. for Education and Social Policy.
Identifiers - Location: New York