Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Small School Trend.....Am I Missing Something?

So I read this article on Education Week  last week.  It went on to say, “Small schools have had mixed results around the country – while students are more likely to graduate, have positive relationships with teachers, and feel safer, they did no better on standardized tests than their peers at big schools. Should the small school trend continue?” Ed Week Small School Article

I am still not sure what is bad about the above statement.  So, the focus lately has been on reducing drop out rates and making sure more kids graduate….according to the above, small schools have more students that graduate.  We also know that one of the most important factors in a student’s success in school is a caring adult connection…and small schools seem to have more positive relationships between students and teachers.   And bullying and cyberbullying are other huge concerns currently in our public schools, and apparently in small schools students feel safer.  

And, we have a lot of research and evidence to show that standardized tests really don’t mean all that much, and many colleges aren’t even requiring them anymore, and according to the above, kids from small schools do as well as their peers in big schools on these tests…… ….am I missing something?

What on earth in that statement would support NOT continuing the small school “trend”?

Of course, it is not just all about the small size.  There are going to be bad small schools, good ones and some excellent small schools.  A strong, motivated, and highly trained school staff is as important as the size of the school in my opinion. If you have both a strong faculty and small class size, it allows for more appropriate programming and individualization and personalization…..all of which leads to better results.  And when I say results….I mean much more than test scores!!!

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