School Size and Its Relationship to Student Outcomes and School Climate: A Review and Analysis of Eight South Carolina State-Wide Studies

Reviews eight school size studies performed by doctoral students and graduate faculty at the University of South Carolina. These studies examine the relationship of South Carolina school size to academic achievement and to costs per student at all grade span groupings, including elementary, middle, and high school. The studies are categorized by grade span covered, and their methodology and findings summarized. Results of the studies are varied and sometimes contradictory, and additional issues arise such as poverty, differing results in grade spans, cost versus outcomes, middle and elementary school climate factors, and variance of the South Carolina findings from those in other states. Smaller middle schools appeared to produce better student outcomes, and where larger elementary and high schools appear to perform better, there is evidence that results vary dramatically depending on the children served. Includes 23 references.
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