Does Class Size Matter in Determining Graduation Rates?

Does the size of a high school determine how successful its students will be? When the measure of success is the percent of students who graduate, the answer might just be yes….or it could be no.
MDRC, a research group in New York, studied students in 2010 who attended smaller high schools in New York City and found that these students were more likely to graduate than students who attended larger high schools. There are currently more than 100 smaller schools in NYC and most of these are less than a decade old.
In the past, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gave billions of dollars to these schools, but the foundation has since stopped funding due to “disappointing” results.
Perhaps small schools are not all they are cracked up to be. These smaller schools can have a negative effect on larger schools in their area. For example, if a larger school which can enroll 1,000 students is shut down so that a smaller school which can enroll only 500 students can be built, where are the remaining 500 students supposed to go to school? Many of these students are shuffled off into another large school, where they might struggle to adapt, which could cause their grades to suffer.
For now, it does remain true that smaller schools in NYC do have a higher graduation rate than their larger peers (69 percent versus 62 percent). However, the average graduation rate in the city is 70 percent. So maybe the question shouldn’t be how large a school should be, but how effective and motivating the teachers and curriculum are…just some food for thought.
Via The Huffington Post
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