“The consolidation of schools and school districts is an ongoing issue in most of rural America. Each year hundreds of communities face the closure of their local school or the loss of their local school district-and the school governance positions associated with the district. State policies promoting consolidation have existed for most of the 20th and now 21st centuries. Indeed, the numbers of schools and districts in this country have been drastically reduced, despite burgeoning school populations. The research evidence supporting this widely implemented policy, however, is virtually non-existent. In fact, research on the effects of school size on student achievement and well-being is extensive, spans the political spectrum, and is unusually consistent in its findings that small size benefits students, especially students who are at risk for educational difficulties. Why then do so many states continue to develop consolidation policies that are anything but research-based?…”
The Rural School and Community Trust answers this, and other questions surrounding school consolidation in a truly research-based manner, and is a wonderful resource for policymakers. Read the entire article here: via Anything But Research-based: State Initiatives to Consolidate Schools and Districts: Rural School & Community Trust.