A new report examines the history and impact of an effort to create smaller schools in the 43,000-student Oakland, Calif., school district.
The report concludes that small schools, created with the backing of advocacy groups in the city, have shown stronger academic performance, better school climate, and an improvement in how teachers view their schools’ professional culture, compared with larger schools studied over the same period.
The report is based on an analysis of school and demographic data, teacher surveys, and interviews.
Much of the work to build support for small schools in Oakland, the report says, was led by Oakland Community Organizations, a coalition of church and civic groups that advocates improvements in housing, job training, and public education. The analysis was completed by the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, in Providence, R.I.
A version of this article appeared in the April 22, 2009 edition of Education Week