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School Size

The issue of school size has been examined by educational researchers for nearly 50 years. The research and analyses that have been conducted span a wide range of topics and employ a variety of conceptual frameworks, disciplinary traditions, theories, and methodologies. Yet, despite the large body of research on the topic, the issue continues to be debated by scholars, policymakers, and educational leaders. This entry presents an introduction to the topic, followed by a discussion of the research regarding the relationships between school size and economies of scale, cost, organizational effectiveness, and student experiences and outcomes. The entry concludes with a discussion of implications for policy and practice.

Introduction and Background

According to a 2012 report by the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of elementary ...

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