Showing all posts tagged: Small schools movement
MDRC has published a report, Transforming The High School Experience, that is pretty conclusive on the value of smaller, more focused schools, instead of ‘factories’ that treat children like products on an assembly line.
The NY Times spoke out on this today (although leaving out any link to the report):
Editorial - Small Schools
The study validates the small school policies of the Bloomberg administration, which has shut down 20 large, failing high schools and replaced them with more than 200 small schools, about half of which were the focus of this study.
Some of the large, factory-style high schools that were closed had enrollments of 3,000 or more and graduation rates under 40 percent. The new small schools, overwhelmingly in black and Hispanic neighborhoods, typically serve a little more than 400 students each. These schools have several other things in common. They have a rigorous curriculum. They offer a personalized approach to education, with teachers responsible for keeping close tabs on the performance of their students.
They are organized around themes — law, science, social justice. They get valuable support from community partners — colleges, cultural organizations or social service groups — that give the students extensive experience with a world of adults outside their families.
It found that the average graduation rate for students in the small schools was nearly 69 percent, nearly 7 percentage points higher than the rate for students in the traditional schools. That means that the small schools erased about a third of the 20-point graduation-rate gap that currently exists between white students and students of color in New York City.