Small Schools/School Size


Leveraging Change: Increasing Access to Arts Education in Rural Areas

Leveraging Change: Increasing Access to Arts Education in Rural AreasLeveraging Change: Increasing Access to Arts Education in Rural Areas reports that promising practices and opportunities for expanding access to arts education include implementing placemaking strategies, creating collaborative rural networks, and using technology to span geographic divides. 


Why Rural Matters 2015-2016 Capitol Hill briefing to be held April 3, 2017

Why Rural Matters 2015-2016 is the eighth in a series of biennial reports analyzing the contexts and conditions of rural education in each of the 50 states and calling attention to the need for policymakers to address rural education issues in their respective states.


April 15 - Deadline for NREA Essay Contest

The National Rural Education Association Foundation announced that they will be holding their annual essay contest.  Any student who attends a rural school may participate.
Date: March 18, 2017
Related Categories: Student, Teacher, What's New, Your Stories
Related Tags: All States, K-12, Small Schools/School Size, Youth


Rural public schools worry they will be left behind

 With a new administration in the White House that prefers  "school-choice” approaches — favoring charter schools and private-school vouchers so parents can opt out of public schools and bring taxpayer dollars with them — the nation’s rural schools are left to wonder about their fate.


Rural Snapshot: Dillon County, South Carolina

Dillon County, South Carolina is a poor rural community located along interstate 95, about 70 miles northwest of Myrtle Beach.  In Dillon County, roughly two-thirds of students are African-American, one-third are white and 90 percent are low-income.


Read for Success Report Addresses Summer Learning Loss in Poor and Rural Communities

In May 2015, Reading is Fundamental (RIF) released the report entitled, Read for Success: Combating the Summer Learning Slide. The study was designed by RIF to determine how schools and communities in the poorest and/or most rural areas could address summer learning loss, and ultimately the achievement gap, through access to opportunity, books, and learning resources.


U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights Releases Guidance to Ensure that All Students have Equal Access to Educational Resources

On October 2, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights released guidance in the form of a Dear Colleague Letter to ensure that all students have equal access to educational resources. The guidance provides detailed and concrete information to educators on the standards established by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


Summer Crop of Finance Studies

Back to school season sees a fresh set of studies on the effects of school finance systems.


Urban School Closures Similar to Rural Closures

The National Opportunity to Learn Campaign addresses school closures in urban areas.


Panel Discussion on School District Consolidation Held in Washington, D.C.

On Thursday, August 8, 2013, the Center for American Progress hosted a panel of educators and experts in a debate of the pros and cons of consolidating small and rural schools districts.


Life is Good: Educational Innovation in Rural Alaska

At Whittier Community School, students take charge of their own education.


Voices of Spoon River: The Ellisville Opera House

Voices of Spoon River is a collaborative effort that celebrates the sense of place in small, rural communities located in western Illinois’ Spoon River Valley.


Why Rural Matters 2011-12: Statistical Indicators of the Condition of Rural Education in the 50 States

WhyRural Matters 2011-12Why Rural Matters 2011–12 is the sixth in a series of biennial reports analyzing the contexts and conditions of rural education in each of the 50 states and calling attention to the need for policymakers to address rural education issues in their respective states.


Pre-Test, Mid-Term; A First-Year Rural Teacher Makes The Grade

Albert Bryant is a first-year mathematics teacher in tiny Everton, Missouri, his hometown.  A graduate of Drury University, Albert was in the inaugural class of the Ozarks Teacher Corps, an effort dedicated to encouraging outstanding teacher prospects to return to their rural home communities as teachers. The Ozarks Teacher Corps is funded by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks’ Rural School Partnership and provides participants with a $4,000 per year scholarship, seminars on rural education issues, and a variety of networking opportunities.


Why Rural Matters 2011-12 Press Release

Nearly one in four American children attend rural schools and enrollment is growing at a faster rate in rural school districts than in all other places combined, according to Why Rural Matters 2011–12, a biennial report by the Rural School and Community Trust.


Rural School Funding News Special Series:
Financing Rural Schools: Characteristics of Strong Rural School Finance Systems

In this series, Rural School Funding News has reviewed general principles of school finance and sharing information about school funding systems that support rural schools and their unique characteristics and needs. While there are no easy answers to questions about how to fund schools, especially in this economic climate, we hope that these articles provide you with information about promising practices, ideas for advocacy, and policy guidelines that inform your analysis and support work on the school finance system in your state.


Paying Teachers for Performance:
Issues and Dilemmas for Rural Schools, Part One

Recent calls to change the way most teachers are paid have focused on “pay for performance,” that is, paying teachers according to how well they teach. Pay-for-performance criteria have been included in several federal grant programs, and several states have begun collecting data that could be used to implement these programs. But problems arise in defining and measuring good teaching. These problems get thornier in rural schools, where teachers often wear multiple hats, teach several subjects and grades, and work for salaries that are lower than their counterparts in urban and suburban areas.


Rural School Funding News Special Series: Financing Rural Schools: Characteristics of Strong Rural School Finance Systems

In this series, Rural School Funding News is reviewing general principles of school finance and sharing information about school funding systems that support rural schools and their unique characteristics and needs. While there are no easy answers to questions about how to fund schools, especially in this economic climate, we hope that these articles will provide you promising practices, ideas for advocacy, and guidelines that are easily transferable in your analysis and work on your own school finance systems.


New Report Finds Consolidation More Likely to Yield Harm Than Benefit

A recent wave of research studies suggests that school and district consolidation has already proceeded beyond the point of a favorable cost-benefit ratio and is unlikely to yield fiscal or educational benefits. De-consolidation may be more likely to improve fiscal efficiency and educational services.


Consolidation Fight-Back Toolkit

The documents in this Consolidation Toolkit, prepared by the policy staff of the Rural School and Community Trust, can help you educate your fellow citizens and the policymakers who have the final say in consolidation decisions.


Research Raises Doubts About Benefits of Consolidation

Has the time for consolidation come and gone? Research shows that state policies that broadly push mergers of schools and districts will not save money and will likely lower the quality of education — especially for the poor.


Rural New York School Recruits Overseas Students

Dwindling populations in small towns have caused hundreds of districts to consolidate their schools and bus kids long distances to bigger schools. But some remote communities are fighting back with a new idea to fill their empty classrooms: They're recruiting international students


Facts and Figures About States with the Highest Percentage of Small Rural Districts

Question: Which eight states have the highest percentage of small rural districts?
Date: October 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Facts and Figures, Small Schools/School Size


Consolidation Watch: State Policies on an Important Rural Issue

Several states are addressing consolidation — but not all are promoting it.


South Dakota Candidates Speak Out Against Consolidation

Candidates for governor of South Dakota have spoken out against a state law that forces small districts to consolidate....
Date: September 28, 2010
Related Categories: In Local News, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, School/District Size, Small Schools/School Size


Iowa Losing Rural School Districts

In the face of budget cuts and financial pressures, more rural Iowa districts are consolidating....


Education Week Launches Rural Blog

One of the nation’s most widely-read education news outlets recently launched a blog devoted to rural education issues. We’re glad to see this attention to rural schools…
Date: August 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: School Location, Small Schools/School Size


RSFN Special Series:
Financing Rural Schools: Characteristics of Strong Rural School Finance Systems

Part IV in the Rural School Funding News (RSFN) special series, "Financing Rural Schools," looks at provisions for small school and/or district size.


West Virginia Community Story Tells Much About School Consolidation

The community of Meadow Bridge, West Virginia has fought for decades to keep their K–12 schools. Their story reveals many of the circumstances and events that rural communities address as they work to make their schools and communities strong.


Consolidation Fightback Toolkit Now Available

The Rural Trust has updated its Consolidation FightBack Toolkit. Check it out...
Date: March 26, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, School/District Size, Small Schools/School Size


Maine Consolidation Repeal Effort Goes Down to Defeat

Maine citizens voted in November to keep the state law that forces many smaller school districts to consolidate on the books. The vote generally followed community lines with voters in towns that would lose their district voting to repeal the law and voters in towns unaffected by the law voting to keep it in place. A political action committee with backing from Governor John Baldacci spent over $300,000 on a statewide campaign to convince voters to leave the law in place. But members of the Maine Coalition to Save Schools are continuing their efforts to address the law…
Date: November 29, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Consolidation, School/District Size, Small Schools/School Size


Why Rural Matters 2009: State and Regional Challenges and Opportunities

Why Rural Matters 2009Why Rural Matters 2009 is the fifth in a series of biennial reports analyzing the contexts and conditions of rural education in each of the 50 states and calling attention to the need for policymakers to address rural education issues in their respective states.


Same Old Consolidation Claims at Issue in Maine Vote

Mandatory district consolidation — for rural small districts — is shifting education costs to rural towns and breaking down Maine's traditions of self-governance. Next month voters will decide whether to reject the law that is forcing the dissolution of many of the state's school districts. Supporters of self-governance are urging citizens to reject a law they say is unfair, badly conceived, and unable to improve education: consolidation advocates, however, are making a variety of claims about "the facts…"


Race to Where?

Policy Program Director Marty Strange takes an incisive look at some of the issues in the charter guidelines for Race to the Top funding — and describes an interesting alternative


Bus Rides at Issue in Arkansas Legal Appeal

Parents and students in an isolated rural community are claiming that their constitutional rights to an adequate and equitable education are violated by long bus rides since the local school was closed…
Date: September 29, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, State/Region
Related Tags: Consolidation, Education Policy and Activism, Small Schools/School Size


New Name, Expanded Mission for Arkansas's ACRE

A venerable rural education advocacy group is expanding its mission and working to claim a better future with more opportunities for all of rural Arkansas…


Kansas May Take Up School Consolidation

Some Kansas legislators are looking at consolidation as a way to reduce spending…


North Carolina Voices: Radio Series Addresses Rural Education Issues

WUNC Reporter Dave DeWitt visits Warren County to bring listeners the latest edition of the award-winning North Carolina Voices series. The Rural Trust's Executive Director Dr. Doris Terry Williams and Policy Director Marty Strange are featured in the first segment of the series.


White House Meeting on Rural Education Identifies Important Topics

A White House gathering of representatives of a number of rural education organizations identified key issues affecting rural schools and suggested policy initiatives…
Date: July 18, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Federal Policy, No Child Left Behind, Small Schools/School Size, Title I


Rural Parents in Arkansas Sue Over Consolidation

Parents of elementary and secondary students at Fourche Valley School in Arkansas are asking a circuit court judge to block the consolidation of their school....
Date: July 18, 2009
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters, State/Region
Related Tags: Consolidation, Small Schools/School Size


Lack of Sleep Linked to Poorer Academic Performance, Behavior

Rural students with long commutes face a number of documented barriers to school success that put them at significant disadvantage, especially if their families struggle economically or depend exclusively on the bus for school-related transportation.....


Arkansas Communities Forge Revitalization Process

Three very different rural communities in Arkansas are partnering with the statewide rural education group ACRE to improve the economies, quality of life, and future prospects of their places. Read about what they have discovered is essential to the process…


Oregon Court Rules State Not Obligated

The Oregon Supreme Court has ruled against a group of families and school districts that brought a finance lawsuit against the state in 2006.


There You Go Again

Lavina Grandon, Policy and Education Director of Arkansas’s Advocates for Community and Rural Education to an editorial, responds to an editorial entitled, “There they go again,” published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; February 10, 2009; page 16 (Editorial section).


A New School Funding Formula Proposed in New Mexico

A new funding formula that was produced by a legislatively funded study committee and its consultants would increase overall state aid by over 15%, according to a Rural School and Community Trust analysis...


Why Rural Matters 2007: The Realities of Rural Education Growth

Why Rural Matters 2007Why Rural Matters 2007 is the fourth in a series of biennial reports analyzing the importance of rural education in each of the 50 states and calling attention to the urgency for policymakers in each state to address rural education issues.


The Case for An Office of Rural Education Policy Research in the U.S. Department of Education

The Case for An Office of Rural Education Policy Research in the U.S. Department of Education. Read the proposal and email your comments to info@ruraledu.org


Rachel's Notes: December 4, 2008

Thoughts on President-Elect Obama's choice for Secretary of Education, potential goals for the incoming administration, analysis of the election, and the case for an Office of Rural Education Policy Research in the U.S. Department of Education.


Characteristics of a Successful High-Poverty Rural School: A Review

A discussion of a paper presented at this year's American Education Research Association that attempts to answer the question of why some rural schools do better than others...


2008 State Election Update: A Sampler

Several states had education issues on the ballot. We take a look at some of them...


2009 REWG: Make Your Plans

The North Carolina state Rural Education Working Group is hosting the 8th annual REWG meeting in April. Members describe why the meeting is important to them...


RSIN Webinar: School Consolidation, October 22, 2008

School Consolidation was the topic of the October 2009 Rural School Innovation Network webinar. Across the nation, states are considering arguments for and against school closures.


Missouri's Ozarks Schools Suffer Funding Disparity

Rural schools in the mountains of Missouri have less money per student than other schools in the state...


Structuring Schools So Students Succeed: Rural Perspectives

Putting a rural perspective on research about school re-structuring...


Working Together to Stay Small, Get More Efficient

Can the operating costs of small schools be reduced — not by making them big through consolidation — but by inter-local cooperation among small schools and districts? The Western Maine Educational Collaborative (WMEC) says so, and it’s proving it.


Some Lessons from the Rural Experience in School Finance Reform

History provides some important insights about what makes funding systems work for rural schools...


Why Rural Matters 2007: Gauge and Indicator Results

Gauge and Indicator Results from Why Rural Matters 2007, including six focus areas: Importance, Socioeconomic Challenges, Student Diversity, Policy Context, Outcomes, and Rural Education Priority.


Why Rural Matters 2007: Major Findings

Major findings from Why Rural Matters 2007: The Realities of Rural Education Growth.


Why Rural Matters 2007: Press Room

Media links and information for Why Rural Matters 2007: The Realities of Rural Education Growth.


Why Rural Matters 2007: Print Edition

Why Rural Matters 2007: Print EditionWhy Rural Matters 2007: The Realities of Rural Education Growth is a snapshot of rural education that provides essential information on the condition of rural education in the 50 states and uncovers new trends and challenges facing rural educators.


Riding to School in Slow Motion

Riding to School in Slow MotionStudents who attend consolidated rural high schools face longer bus rides and are less likely to participate in extra-curricular activities because of the challenge of transportation. This is one finding in Slow Motion: Traveling by School Bus in Consolidated Districts in West Virginia. Survey results show that high school students who ride the bus and attend consolidated high schools lose an average of 49 minutes each day, compared to students who have other forms of transportation in those same districts. Though the report focuses specifically on consolidation outcomes in West Virginia, the lessons learned are a warning to any state that has pursued or is considering pursuing consolidation as an education policy.


The Hobbit Effect: Why Small Works in Public Schools

The Hobbit Effect: Why Small Works in Public SchoolsWhile numerous studies have documented that small schools effectively boost student achievement, especially among at-risk students, our report, The Hobbit Effect: Why Small Works in Public Schools summarizes the vast research literature that explains just why small works in schooling, identifying ten research-based attributes of small schools that are proven to have a positive impact on kids and their learning.


Why Small Schools Work: Ten Reasons Small Schools Positively Impact Students and their Learning

While numerous studies have documented that small schools effectively boost student achievement, especially among at-risk students, a new report now summarizes the vast research literature that explains just why small works in schooling.


New Mexico Provides Support to Rural Schools to Engage in Community Revitalization

The New Mexico Department of Education wants to improve rural education in the state by funding schools to engage their students and teachers in direct efforts to revitalize and improve the economically distressed communities the schools serve...


Small Districts — An Achievement Strategy for Iowa

Iowa's small school districts are an "achievement blessing" that should play an important role in the state's strategy to improve education and they should be "intentionally supported" in the state's school funding system, according to a new report by the Rural School and Community Trust...
Date: April 01, 2006
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: School Finance/Funding, Small Schools/School Size


Compounding Challenges: Student Achievement and the Distribution of Human and Fiscal Resources in Oregon's Rural School Districts

Compounding ChallengesThis report presents findings from an investigation into relationships between academic achievement and the distribution of fiscal resources among rural school districts in Oregon. The investigation was prompted by earlier-reported findings suggesting the critical nature of both achievement gaps and resource gaps among rural school districts in the state. A variety of statistical procedures yielded consistent findings indicating that there is considerable disparity in the distribution of fiscal resources among rural districts, and that the level of fiscal resources available to districts significantly influences educational outcomes.


More Doesn't Mean Better: Larger High Schools and More Courses Do Not Boost Student Achievement in Iowa High Schools

More Doesn't Mean BetterSmall school districts are an "achievement blessing" in Iowa, according to More Doesn't Mean Better. In Iowa, consolidation proponents contend that small schools in small districts cannot offer a sufficiently broad curriculum, and that offering more courses would lead to higher achievement levels. This study finds just the opposite: Bigger schools and broader curriculum do not boost student achievement. In fact, smaller districts with fewer course offerings and higher poverty produced a slightly higher—but not statistically significant—percentage of students who scored "proficient" on state achievement tests than larger districts.


Anything But Research-based: State Initiatives to Consolidate Schools and Districts

The consolidation of schools and school districts is an ongoing issue in most of rural America. Each year hundreds of communities face the closure of their local school or the loss of their local school district-and the school governance positions associated with the district. State policies promoting consolidation have existed for most of the 20th and now 21st centuries. Indeed, the numbers of schools and districts in this country have been drastically reduced, despite burgeoning school populations.


Breaking the Fall: Cushioning the Impact of Rural Declining Enrollment

Breaking the FallFor those rural schools and communities across the country facing declining student enrollment, there are no easy answers. But there are steps policymakers and communities can take to help cushion the negative impact of declining enrollment on schools to ensure that "no child left behind" also means "no place left behind." This report details 20 policies that provide students in communities experiencing declining enrollment with a high quality education and also buy time for communities to rebound, improve, or adjust to changes in population and revenue.


Why Rural Matters 2005: The Facts About Rural Education in the 50 States

Why Rural Matters 2005Why Rural Matters 2005 is the third in a series of reports analyzing the importance of rural education in each of the 50 states and calling attention to the urgency with which policymakers in each state should address the problems of rural education.


Why Rural Matters 2005: News Conference Transcript

This transcript of the virtual news conference for Why Rural Matters 2005 features Rachel Tompkins, Ed.D., President, Rural School and Community Trust; Jerry Johnson, Ed.D., State and Regional Policy Studies Manager; and Marty Strange, Director of Policy Programs at the Rural Trust.


Why Rural Matters 2005: Print Edition

Why Rural Matters 2005: Print EditionWhy Rural Matters 2005 is the third in a series of reports analyzing the importance of rural education in each of the 50 states and calling attention to the urgency with which policymakers in each state should address the problems of rural education.


The Promise and the Power of Distance Learning in Rural Education

Distance Learning in Rural EducationDistance learning is here to stay. Its future appears to be unsure only in its direction or extent of growth. This paper focuses on the applicability and potential of two-way interactive television (I-TV) for small and rural K-12 schools as a primary asset in improving educational access and equity and calls for the adoption of enlightened distance learning policies and guidelines at the state and local levels. Appendices include: (1) Characteristics of Major Distance Learning Technologies; (2) Types of Distance Learning Technologies; and (3) a Categorization of State Videoconferencing Policies. The Appendices are followed by a glossary of technical terms and list of references.


Letters to the Next President: What We Can Do About the Real Crisis in Public Education

Letters to the Next PresidentIn the 2004 publication Letters to the Next President, more than 30 education experts, elected officials, practitioners, students, community leaders, and parents wrote to our next president, offering suggestions on improving critical problems in public education such as equitable funding resources and saving small schools.


National Study Links Small Schools and Higher Achievement

A major study by rural education researchers Craig and Aimee Howley addresses the vexing problem of how individual students of various income levels fare in larger and smaller schools nationwide. It is the strongest evidence to date that small schools are better for low income children.


Small Works in Nebraska: How Poverty and the Size of School Systems Affect School Performance in Nebraska

Small Works in NebraskaAs Nebraska considers a proposal to consolidate many of its small rural schools, this study finds compelling evidence that academic achievement is higher in the state's smaller schools—particularly for students who live in poorer communities. The study by Jerry Johnson, policy analyst for the Rural Trust, explores the relationships among school size, poverty, and student achievement in Nebraska and finds that smaller schools significantly reduce the power of poverty to affect student academic performance.


School Size: Research Based Conclusions

School size is a critical factor in determining educational outcomes. Research links small school size with higher levels of achievement and cost effectiveness. Small size also makes other school improvements more effective. But the advantages of small schools can be undermined if they are under funded or forced to organize and operate the way larger schools do. Here is what researchers have found about school size.


Alternative Ways to Achieve Cost Effective Schools

There are legitimate concerns about the administrative costs of running small school districts. It has been widely assumed that the only way to reduce these costs is to achieve economies of scale by eliminating school districts through consolidation. Proposals to consolidate districts often include assurances that closing districts does not mean that schools have to close. The idea is that we can reduce administrative costs without losing the educational benefits of small schools.


The Fiscal Impacts of School Consolidation: Research Based Conclusions

Consolidation proponents often argue that consolidating schools and/or districts will lower per pupil costs. But a stream of studies over half a century casts doubts on this assumption.


Distance Learning Technologies: Giving Small Schools Big Capabilities

In school and district consolidation, the well-documented benefits of small schools to students and their communities are lost. It doesn't have to be this way. Other alternatives, such as distance learning, are both possible and preferable. Distance learning can provide students access to a virtually unlimited curriculum while retaining the benefits of small, local schools. But distance learning can be done well, or badly. Here, too, there are choices.


Closing Costs: A Summary of an Award Winning Look at School Consolidation in West Virginia, a State Where It Has Been Tried Aggressively

Few states have pursued consolidation of rural schools more aggressively than West Virginia. With the promise of broader curriculum and huge tax savings, the state has closed more than 300 schools, one in every five, since 1990. In 2002, the Charleston Gazette investigated the outcomes of the state's consolidation efforts in the series, "Closing Costs."


Dollars and Sense: The Cost Effectiveness of Small Schools

Dollars and SenseDollars & Sense is a collaborative effort of the KnowledgeWorks Foundation, the Rural School and Community Trust, and Concordia, Inc. A team of nine researchers with expertise in education, architecture, and quantitative research challenge the common belief that big schools are cheaper to build and maintain than are small ones. Their conclusion: investing tax dollars in small schools makes good economic sense.


Lowering the Overhead by Raising the Roof ...and other Rural Trust strategies to reduce the costs of your small school

Lowering the OverheadLowering the Overhead by Raising the Roof provides strategies to help communities reduce the costs of maintaining, building, and renovating small schools, author Barbara Lawrence reports on specific strategies that rural communities have used and shares what she has learned from people throughout the country.


Small Works in Arkansas: How Poverty and the Size of Schools and School Districts Affect School Performance in Arkansas

Small_Works_In_Arkan.pdfA series of studies in seven states (Alaska, California, Georgia, Montana, Ohio, Texas, and West Virginia) indicates that smaller schools reduce the harmful effects of poverty on student achievement and help students from less affluent communities narrow the academic achievement gap between them and students from wealthier communities. The implication is that the less affluent a community, the smaller the school and school district serving that community should be in order to maximize student achievement. The present study conducted by Ohio University researchers extends this analysis to Arkansas. The findings are remarkably consistent with those from the other states.


Small Schools: Why They Provide the Best Education for Low-Income Children

Small SchoolsThis report crystalizes the research of Dr. Craig Howley focusing on West Virginia.


School Consolidation and Transportation Policy: An Empirical and Institutional Analysis

School Consolidation and Transportation PolicyOffering new empirical and theoretical insights into school and district consolidation across the country, this study traces actual transportation costs across states and the relationship between transportation and instructional costs. They posit that the consolidation and transportation issues are linked and that together they have constrained instructional opportunities for rural children.


Small Schools, Big Results: Nebraska High School Completion and Postsecondary Enrollment Rates by Size of School District

Small Schools, Big ResultsThis research, funded in part by the Rural Trust, finds that small schools measure up very well against their big neighbors when the cost of schooling is measured as the cost per graduate.


School Size, School Climate, and Student Performance

Excerpted from Kathleen Cotton, School Size, School Climate, and Student Performance (Portland, OR: NWREL), 1996, pp 10-11, a comprehensive review of formal research studies on school size.