“Today, however, a substantial body of new research demonstrates that decreasing grade spans, thereby increasing the number of students per grade, and multiplying students’ transitions from school to school negatively impacts student achievement.”
“’Destroying neighborhood institutions and the historic memory invested in them,’ Naison wrote recently, ‘is a form of psychic violence that should not be underestimated. School closings and displacement of the people who worked in them are wreaking havoc with the lives of people who need stability, continuity and support more than continuous upheaval.’
Against protests like these, education reformers should be held to a high burden of proof. They must be able to show that the negative effects of taking children out of their familiar neighborhoods and sending them on long, tedious bus rides to strange surroundings are overridden by the educational benefits they receive when they reach their destination.
Do those benefits exist? Or have we created a symptom that is worse than the disease it seeks to cure? I will leave you to answer that question for yourself.”
“It is essential that school administrators and school boards seek community input when making decisions to change the grade configurations for their school district.”
“However, to most parents present at the meeting, the cons outweigh the pros. After listening to parental concerns throughout the evening, Dr. Schartner agreed that a pure Princeton Plan in Sayville was a dead issue.”
“With tiered models, we may end up ‘maxing out’ the instructional space within a building and would not have ways to expand if the enrollment increased.”
“In addition, two studies from Alspaugh (1998a; 1998b) found that in districts with fewer transitions (K-8/9-12) student dropout rates were significantly lower than in districts with K-5, middle school, and high school configurations. Thus, the more transitions in districts, the higher the rates of student drop-out….
One clear finding across the studies, however, was that school transitions, overall, had negative effects on academic, psychological and social-emotional and student behavior outcomes. This suggests that the fewer transitions for students, the better.”
“When students attend a school near their home, families can more easily connect with teachers and contribute as school volunteers and leaders.”