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Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Review of Empirical Evidence About School Size Effects: A Policy Perspective


Small schools equal more value
LA Johnson/NPR

 Based on this research out of New York, smaller high schools are better than larger ones.  Here is an article from NPR.org that sums up the research: 

New Research Suggests Small High Schools May Help After All 

Smaller high schools are better than larger ones.  "In particular, the researchers found that the schools boosted college enrollment for black males by 11.3 percentage points, a 36 percent increase relative to their control group counterparts."

"What is truly remarkable about these results is that a high school reform has had a measurable effect on college-going and it has done so at scale — across scores of public high schools," said Gordon Berlin, the president of MDRC.

The actual study is the one that follows.


-Angela

A Review of Empirical Evidence About School Size Effects: A Policy Perspective

  1. Doris Jantzi
+ Author Affiliations
  1. Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

Abstract

This review examined 57 post-1990 empirical studies of school size effects on a variety of student and organizational outcomes. The weight of evidence provided by this research clearly favors smaller schools. Students who traditionally struggle at school and students from disadvantaged social and economic backgrounds are the major benefactors of smaller schools. Elementary schools with large proportions of such students should be limited in size to not more than about 300 students; those serving economically and socially heterogeneous or relatively advantaged students should be limited in size to about 500 students. Secondary schools serving exclusively or largely diverse and/or disadvantaged students should be limited in size to about 600 students or fewer, while those secondary schools serving economically and socially heterogeneous or relatively advantaged students should be limited in size to about 1,000 students.

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