Downsizing Districts Seen to Have Positive Effect
A national study suggests one way school districts can improve graduation rates for high school students: get geographically smaller.
The study, released this month by the Manhattan Institute, a think tank based in New York City, draws on federal data to analyze changes in districts’ geographic size, high school enrollments, and graduation rates from the early 1990s to 2001. Researchers found that graduation rates increased, for the most part, when districts downsized and decreased when they grew in size. The study was based on federal data for school districts nationwide.
By the authors’ calculations, for example, a district that shrank by 200 square miles might expect to see a 1.7 percent improvement in its graduation rate over a period of several years. For instance, if Florida, a state with unusually large school districts, many bigger than 800 square miles, was somehow able to decrease its districts to about a third of their current geographic size, the change could theoretically increase the state’s average graduation rate from 59...
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- Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning
- Roanoke City Public Schools, Roanoke, VA
- Regional Area Partner
- Focus EduVation, US
- Round Rock ISD, Round Rock, TX
- The Berkeley Institute, HAMILTON, Bermuda
- Amargosa Valley Elementary School, Amargosa Valley, NV