It used to be easier. Before the explosion of the small schools movement 3-4 years ago, all you needed to do to make the case statement for small schools was to point to the disaster of large high schools -- the dropouts, the low graduation rates, the lack of student engagement. Now, in 2005, there are enough successes and failures on the ground that opponents will be able to point to flawed examples of either design or execution.
It may be harder now, but not impossible, as shown by this interesting case study about the road to converting large high schools.
Eugene (OR) HS has been planning for two years to convert to small schools.
In the final stages
of their development, after making application to the Oregon
Small Schools Initiative (OSSI), staff from North Eugene
HS visit Mountlake Terrace
North Eugene HS staff members then decide to take a second vote on converting, to be held on April 8. Read about the visit, the controversy that ensued, see the articles, opinion pieces, and editorials in the local paper, and finally read about the vote.
[Thanks to Michelle Swanson of OSSI and Swanson & Cosgrave for alerting me to this story and to Google News Alerts for helping me research this story]
The Visit to
Revisiting 'small schools': Some North Eugene staff members have ......
"Revisiting 'small schools': Some North Eugene staff members have second thoughts about remaking the school after seeing the model at work", By Anne Williams, The Register-Guard, Eugene (OR), February 25, 2005
North Eugene High School: Small Schools Initiative
... Mountlake Terrace, WA Click here to read the summary of the NEHS site visit
... Go to the school web site. Back to the
web site ... North Eugene High School
[ More results from www.nehs.lane.edu ]
The News-Review - News
"Eugene high school may think again on small schools", February 28, 2005, ... Administrators from
recently visited two Seattle-area... but deflated after a visit to suburban North Eugene High School . ... Mountlake Terrace High School
Local small-school idea still in favor - February 26, 2005
"Eugene shows reservations about smaller ‘academies’", The Associated Press, February 26, 2005 ... Wieczorek expressed surprise that
might consider ...but deflated after a visit to suburban North Eugene High School . ... Mountlake Terrace High School
2. Articles, opinion pieces, and editorials in the local paper
North Eugene teachers pitch small-school ideas
The Register-Guard, Oregon - Mar 18, 2005
North Eugene High School teachers tested their salesmanship Thursday night, unveiling and explaining six proposals for new small high schools to an engaged but ...
Guest Viewpoint: Reform effort under way at North Eugene High
The Register-Guard, Oregon - Mar 15, 2005
By Peter Tromba (NEHS Principal). The two most frequently asked questions about our work at North Eugene High School are: "Why small schools?" and, "How is it going?". ...
Guest Viewpoint: North Eugene High on right path
- Oregon Mar 23, 2005
is on the right track with an ambitious plan to convert to small schools. The school is one of 12 that ... North Eugene High School
3. The Vote
North favors small schools
- 1 hour ago Oregon
A cloud of doubt over
lifted Friday with a vote by staff members to continue with plans to break apart into three or more separate ... North Eugene High School
Educational risk-takers: North's staff favors small schools ...
The Register-Guard -
Eugene, Oregon, USA
... North, along with seven other
high schools that have been awarded grants by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Meyer Memorial Trust, will ... Oregon
Email Letter from Mountlake Terrace High School Teacher Leader responding to story in the Register-Guard Newspaper
"Complicated conversion gets big school to think small", By Lynn Thompson, Seattle Times (Registration required), Wednesday, February 16, 2005. Story on Mountlake Terrace High School .
4. North Eugene High School Small Schools Initiative Web pages
North Eugene High School Web Site
Small Schools web pages at North Eugene High School
Tech web site (Proposed New Tech HS Replication) Alliance
An example of the challenge
facing small school advocates today is the just announced report of the Denver
Public Schools Commission on Secondary School Reform. DCSSR could not issue
an unequivocal recommendation for small schools since