Helpful Resources on Small SchoolsReviews of the Research

Cotton, Kathleen, “School Size, School Climate, and Student Performance,” Close-Up Number 20 in the School Improvement Research Series, produced by the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory under a contract with the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education. Contact: Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory Document Reproduction Service, 101 S.W. Main Street, Suite 500, Portland, Oregon 97204; tel.:  (503) 275-9519  (503) 275-9519 . Web site scpd/sirs/10/c020.html

Useful articles by D. H. Monk, Paul Nachtigal, A. Ramirez, and B. Rogers appear in the Source Book on School and District Size, Cost, and Quality. Oak Brook, IL: North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, 1992.

Klonsky, Michael, “Small Schools: The Numbers Tell a Story,” from the Small Schools Workshop, University of Illinois at Chicago (115 South Sangamon, Chicago, IL 60607; tel.  312-413-8066  312-413-8066 ), 1996.

Howley, Craig, “The Academic Effectiveness of Small-Scale Schooling: An Update.” ERIC Digest. Charleston, WV: Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, June 1994 (ED 372 897).

Selected Books and Articles

Barker, R. and Gump, P. Big School, Small School: High School Size and Student Behavior. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 1964.

Conant, James B. The American High School Today. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1959.

Eberts, R. W.; Kehoe, E.; and Stone, J. A. The Effect of School Size on Student Outcomes. Final report, from the Center for Educational Policy and Management, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, June 1982.

Fowler, W., “What Do We Know About School Size? What Should We Know?” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, April 1992. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 347 675).

Haller, E., Monk, D., & Tien, L., “Small Schools and Higher-Order Thinking Skills,” in Journal of Research in Rural Education 1993, 9(2).

Howley, Craig, “Synthesis of the Effects of School and District Size: What Research Says about Achievement in Small Schools and School Districts,” in Journal of Rural and Small Schools 1989, 4(1).

Johnson, S. M. Teachers at Work: Achieving Success in Our Schools. New York: Basic Books, 1990.

Meier, Deborah. The Power of their Ideas. Lessons for America from a Small School in Harlem. Boston: Beacon Press, 1995.

Monk, D. H., “Secondary School Size and Curriculum Comprehensiveness,” in Economics of Education Review, Vol. 6 No. 2, 1987.

Muncey, D. and P. McQuillan, Reform and Resistance in Schools and Classrooms. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1996.

Nachtigal, Paul, “School and District Size, Cost, and Quality,” in Source Book on School and District Size, Cost, and Quality. Oak Brook, IL: North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, 1992.

Public Education Association, “Small Schools. Operating Costs: Reversing Assumptions about Economies of Scale.” December 1992.

Sergiovanni, Thomas. “Organizations or Communities? Changing the Metaphor Changes the Theory.” Paper presented to the American Educational Research Association, Atlanta, GA, April 1993.

For Discussion:

What means does your school currently use to make sure every student is known well?
How does the size of your school make that easier or harder?
What would it take to improve the situation?