Research on the relationship of school size, poverty, and student achievement indicates that small schools are better for children, particularly children from poorer communities. Recently, a rather new study goes head-to-head with conventional wisdom about economies of scale, illustrating that smaller schools can be cost-effective, as well.

Those who feel that small schools are not efficient, or ineffective, or that they cost more should provide real evidence, not just rhetoric or politically correct studies. The evidence is out there that clearly illustrates that smaller schools provide a better quality education than their large counterparts. "A higher percentage of students, across all socioeconomic levels, are successful when they are part of smaller, more intimate learning communities," states a recent U.S. Department of Education study. "Security improves and violence decreases, as does student alcohol and drug abuse."

In just a few days, the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education will decide if re-zoning of schools will take place. I certainly hope that this body will stop and seriously analyze the impact re-zoning will have upon all disadvantaged as well as low-income students and their communities.