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Smaller Schools are Better

I’m inclined to agree with Think New Mexico’s push for smaller schools:

Decades of research have shown that smaller schools have higher graduation rates, higher student achievement, lower levels of student alienation and violence, and higher levels of satisfaction among students, parents, principals, and teachers. Small schools also dramatically improve the performance of low-income children, which helps to narrow the persistent achievement gap.

What I find surprising is APS Superintendent Winston Brooks’ argument against smaller schools (subscription):

In a presentation at Hoover Middle School library, Brooks referenced that report as well as the work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which calls for high schools no larger than 400 students.

“Having smaller schools is not financially feasible,” Brooks said, adding that there would be a need for more principals and assistant principals. He cited the successful Eldorado football team and ROTC programs as items that would suffer if the 2,000-student school were broken up into smaller schools.

Really? Did he honestly make an argument against smaller schools to protect football and ROTC programs? That’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever heard. Talk about your skewed educational priorities. And, his claim that it would require more principals and assistant principals is baloney. Small schools with 400 students don’t need assistant principals.