Blog for Rural America

The Center for Rural Affairs, a private, non-profit organization, is working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities. Permission to reprint items from this web log is hereby granted, on the condition that clear credit is given to the original source of the material. If the blog provides information for a story, please let us know by sending an email to

Monday, November 20, 2006

Top 10 Reasons Small Schools Work Better

Top 10 Reasons Small Schools Work Better

Participation, belonging, personalization just a few of the findings from a new Rural Schools and Community Trust report

from the Center for Rural Affairs newsletter regarding a report from the Rural Schools and Community Trust authored by Lorna Jimerson

With the start of each new legislative session, small school supporters across the nation wonder what attempt will be thrown at them to cease their existence. Whether it is through some “tweaking” in a state aid formula to tighten and restrict their funding or outright disassembly, small schools know how to educate their students and can do it with greater results than their larger counterparts.

A report recently released by the Rural School and Community Trust reiterated what the Center for Rural Affairs and many other small school advocates have been saying for some time. Lorna Jimerson, Ed.D, author of the report The Hobbit Effect: Why Small Works in Public Schools offers her top 10 research-based reasons why small works for schools.
1. There is greater participation in extracurricular activities, and that is linked to academic success.
2. Small schools are safer.
3. Kids feel they belong.
4. Small class size allows more individualized instruction.
5. Good teaching methods are easier to implement.
6. Teachers feel better about their work.
7. Mixed-ability classes avoid condemning some students to low expectations.
8. Multi-age classes promote personalized learning and encourage positive social interactions.
9. Smaller districts mean less bureaucracy.
10. More grads in one school alleviate many problems of transitions to new schools.

The report goes into detail about each of these 10 reasons and can be found on the Rural School and Community Trust’s website, . Contact Lorna Jimerson, Ed.D (author) at 802.425.2497 or Marty Strange, Center for Rural Affairs co-founder, at 802.728.4383 for more information regarding this report.

Post a comment here or contact John Crabtree,

Center for Rural Affairs
Values. Worth. Action.


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