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ERIC Number: ED520025
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 275
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-6661-9
ISSN: N/A
How Small School Districts Can Organize to Afford Their Small Schools
Burton, Christine
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Seton Hall University
While the research continues to mount on the benefits of school downsizing and decentralizing efforts in urban areas, there exists a paradox for small school Administrators who continue to struggle against forces of consolidation. Small schools in rural and suburban districts have fought for their existence against the pressures of consolidation or regionalization based on the claim that "bigger is better" and with decisions based on factors not judged on their educational merit, but rather on factors that were political, economic, demographic, or social. The purpose of the study was to explore the benefits of small schools regarding academic achievement, attendance, graduation rates, and dropout rates; to identify how small schools and small districts have used organizational practices and strategies toward cost containment and competitive curricula and to recommend those effective and efficient practices offering fiscal and programmatic viability for small schools. The researcher examined the effective financial and educational strategies that have been implemented in small schools. The analysis generated descriptive statistics of each small school yielding the academic achievement, extra-curricular participation, and attendance rates of students consistent with the literature in that standardized test performance was equal or superior to District Factor Group comparisons. Other common benefits were the atmosphere of safety and trust where there was a sense of community fostered by parental involvement, communication, and relationships with families. Participants in focus group and one-on-one interviews were in agreement that communities benefited by having small schools serve as the hub of the community with the challenges of limited resources, S1701, administrative cost penalties, and fears of regionalization or consolidation. Efforts to provide competitive curricula included cluster district articulation, use of computers for on-line courses, inter-district collaboration, and a five year curriculum cycle. Participation in education consortia, share services agreements, the School Choice Program, establishment of education foundations, and the use of multi-age classrooms were cited as measures to contain costs by small schools. The existence of small schools as beneficial to students and communities was affirmed, and these organization and financial practices can provide policy makers with further leverage for small schools as a viable school reform. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A