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Small Schools

There is considerable evidence - found, for example, in an Eric summary, that
when you compare similar groups of students, students in smaller schools have
higher graduation rates, lower rates of absence, lower rates of discipline
problems, etc. etc.

People who want to see this federal reserach summary (published during the
Clinton administration) can send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to
Joe Nathan
c/o Humphrey Institute
University of Minnesota
301 19th Av. South
Minneapolis, Mn. 55455

Our organization is helping convert large public high schools in ST. Paul,
Cincinnati and West Clermont into small schools of choice. We are keenly
aware of the possibility of resegregation and are working with parents,
students and teachers to try to prevent this.

We also are helping create new small high schools. We are doing this with
the help of the Gates Foundation.

It's true that many large cities have elite large high schools that have
significant admissions tests. AS I've written on this board, in other a
rticles, and in Congressional testimony (encouraged by the late Senator Paul
Wellstone), I think such "exam" schools really are publicly funded private
schools. Central to the idea of public education is that schools are open to
all kinds of students.

Some people see working on small schools as a distracation from other
issues. Having helped create a small, inner city non exam school that
recently celebrated its 31st birthday, I've seen the value of what such
schools can do. And, as mentioned above, there is considerable evidence to
support this experience.