Essentially all of the research on school size conducted in the past 30 years suggests we need to move to smaller schools (Gregory, 2001).
- Notably disrupt the influence of poverty on academic achievement (Howley and Bickel, 2000)
- Have lower rates of absenteeism and violence (Cotton, 1996)
- Strengthen student attachment, persistence, and performance (Wasley, et. al., 2000)
- Have more satisfied parents and community members (Wasley, et. al., 2000)
- Provide a better environment for teachers (Wasley, et. al., 2000)
- Are considered just as cost effective as their larger counterparts by a variety of measures (Funk and Bailey, 1999; Lawrence, et. al, 2002; Steifel, et. al, 1998)
Of course smallness, by itself, is no silver bullet. Small learning communities only provide the conditions necessary to establish more personalized and responsive educational environments. Small schools are a means, and not an end, a strategy, but not the goal. The goal is higher and more equitable achievement for all—supported by powerful teaching and learning.