From The “Fairy Tales Fractured” Files… “We Can Offer More Opportunity For Kids”


Even if the inevitably broken promises of enhanced opportunity were truthful, the Board has failed kids with their indecision.  It is past time for policymakers to embrace their schools’ size, which we have shown to be ideal according to research.

Size is never an excuse to shortchange children’s education, and excellence is not about money.  The budget is ample to serve the needs of students better than the district is doing so.

“..Even the smallest schools (100-200 students) are able to offer core curricula comparable to schools of more than 1,200…” ~Jack and the Giant School by Stacy Mitchell

“…there simply is no reliable relationship between school size and curriculum quality. For one thing, researchers have found that “it takes a lot of bigness to add a little variety”—that is, “on the average a 100% increase in enrollment yields only a 17% increase in variety of offerings” (Pittman and Haughwout, 1997)…” ~Education on a Human Scale – Corbett

“…The effective characteristics
of small schools can be lost even in small schools if
school leaders chase the illusion that bigger is better….” ~

“…the closure of schools on the basis of their size is not warranted in terms of academic achievement or community or other measures of academic quality. There is a lack of evidence to suggest that small schools are incapable of achieving the broad goal set out for public schooling….” ~Michael Corbett What We Know And Don’t Know About Small Schools

Decades of research on appro- priate school size fail to document anything like the benefits for large schools advertised during this century (Smith & DeYoung, 1988). More- over, evidence that small schools actually blunt the negative effects of educational disadvantage (variously construed) on academic achieve- ment continues to accumulate(Fowler & Walberg, 1991; Friedkin & Necochea, 1988; Howley, 1989; Huang & Howley, in press; Plecki,) ~The Political Economy of School Consolidation

“The percentage of student participation has been shown to peak in high schools with 61 to 150 students.”~

“…A growing body of North American education research on the “dollars and sense” of school size is exploding the myth and now suggest that smaller scale schools are not only better for students but, more surprisingly, more cost effective for school boards…” How Big Is Too Big?

“In her review of more than 100 studies on school size, Mary Anne Raywid of Hofstra Universtiy writes that the relationship between small schools and positive education outcomes has been  “confirmed with a clarity and at a level of confidence rare in the annals of education research.””Is School Consolidation a Good Idea?

“…Those who say small schools are not “efficient,” or effective, need to cite the evidence, not just the rhetoric. …”~Size Matters

“We will save you money.”

That’s the bait that trolls in the suckers.

We grow old too soon. Smart too late.”

~The humble Farmer, on School Consolidation

5 responses to “From The “Fairy Tales Fractured” Files… “We Can Offer More Opportunity For Kids”

  1. The offer of more has never been true. Our small school is a benefit, stop making excuses and shortchanging kids and teachers. Look at other small schools that educate very well. Stop squandering our resources on bureaucratic bloat. Start changing today, and thinking of our kids first. Bigger does not mean better in this case.


    • You are absolutely right.

      I hope that you – everyone concerned with the district’s trajectory understands that though the Board knows all of this they have not and will not waver from it.

      I worked in Economic Development and can tell you that too many people want to “cut ribbons” – too few want to roll up their sleeves and do the real work of serving local communities. They become blind to the most compelling proof that the best course does NOT involve spooning over a gold spray-painted shovel.

      The vice chairwoman stated publicly that she wants a “new school we can be proud of” the implication being that she has no interest in taking pride in what she has. Meanwhile, just down the road, Schenck and Opal Myrick, despite their monumental struggles, reflect the pride policymakers have in its future.

      The Board is banking on a new school or a nearly as expensive refurbished SACS to justify their poor choices. They know our children will never benefit and view them as the eggs you crack to make an omelet.

      To make a long story longer, please understand what you are up against. Your school is gone and you will not get it back without a fight.


      • Isn’t it nice how bureaucratic education has become and at the expense of our kids. I wonder if the board even cares what a move to SACS will do to our communities? Another question, how are we going to pay for it? Always fun spending other people’s money. A new building does not make for a good education. Taxing people into poverty is morally wrong, and leaving our kids to travel more is wrong. Too far. We need a new school alright right where it is back to good old MSAD #25. One last thing, since some board members seen to represent their own views, maybe it is time for the people they “represent” to vote them out. Just a thought.


  2. If you are not in favor of consolidation, you had better be at Tuesday’s meeting. Rumor has it that board members have commented that if they saw 200 people show up not in favor of consolidation, they would rethink the situation. We already know they won’t listen to a handful of people that represent a large percentage of taxpayers, parents, etc. We’ve been there and no one has listened in the past. It is up to us as citizens, taxpayers, parents, etc. to demand that there is a better solution for our kids than busing them to SACS!!! This is so not the answer for our kid’s education!


    • Thank you for this. Showing up at meetings; engaging in civic affairs – is NEVER a waste of time even though the Board has behaved abominably.

      Even THIS Board knows full well that people do not want Katahdin closed. That is why they have gone around Robin Hood’s barn starving Katahdin to death rather than taking the vote.

      But that is the encouraging part – on some level the Board does indeed fear the consequences of that vote.

      If you want your school back, go get it. …AND the money to run it properly. Otherwise Kids will go without worse than they do now.

      Thank you for caring about your kids and communities.


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