It was most gratifying on last evening to witness the demise of recommendations made by the Tuscaloosa City School Superintendent. The public, along with board members were very vocal in their disapproval of the recommendations present by the Superintendent.

One of the areas that received strong attention was that of Small Schools and their effectiveness. Research on the relationship of school size, poverty, and student achievement has shown that small schools are better for students -- particularly students from poorer communities. Now, a recent report goes head-to-head with conventional wisdom about economies of scale, illustrating that small schools can be cost-effective, as well. In this report, a collaborative team of nine researchers with expertise in education, architecture, and quantitative research challenge the common belief that big schools are cheaper to build and maintain than are small ones.

Now that the recommendations must be revisited, it makes good sense to consider the use of smaller schools and the positive impact that they have on student achievement.