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From the ECS State Policy Database: School/District Structure/Operations--School Size - This policy database—updated weekly—is made possible by your state's fiscal support of the Education Commission of the States....

Sustained Progress: New Findings About the Effectiveness and Operation of Small Public High Schools of Choice in New York City - Small schools of choice in New York City continue to increase graduation rates for disadvantaged students of color, according to a recent report. In 2002, the city embarked on three interrelated education reforms: district-wide choice for ninth-graders, closure of 31 large high schools with an average graduation rate of 40%, and the opening of 200 new small high schools many of which would be located in some of the district’s most disadvantaged communities. The 25 schools with signs of the strongest effectiveness had principals and teachers who believe in rigor and personal relationships with students. However, it’s hard to find the authors’ definition of small. (Howard S. Bloom and Rebecca Unterman,MDRC,August 2013)...

Transforming the High School Experience: How New York City's New Small Schools Are Boosting Student Achievement and Graduation Rates - The first step in New York City's high school admissions process is to require eighth-graders to select in rank order of priority up to a dozen high schools that they want to attend. When one of the schools has more applicants than spaces a lottery-like process to randomly assign students to "small schools of choice" (SSCs) in another district. These lotteries provide the basis for an usually large and rigorous study of the effects of SSCs on students' academic achievement. This report presenting clear and reliable evidence that, in roughly six years, a large system of small public high schools can be created and markedly improve graduation prospects for many disadvantaged students. (Howard Bloom, Saskia Levy Thompson and Rebecca Unterman, MDRC, June 2010)...

School Size and Student Outcomes in Kentucky’s Public Schools - In November 2005, the legislature's Program Review and Investigations Committee directed that staff address the question of how school size affects student achievement in Kentucky. This report does that -- primarily through a statistical analysis of the effect of size of school enrollment on assessment scores and attendance, dropout, and retention rates. (Greg Hager, Legislative Research Commission, June 2006)...


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