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Is Large More Effective than Small is Beautiful? Size and Performance of Primary Schools in Poland

Herczynski, Jan and Herbst, Mikolaj (2004): Is Large More Effective than Small is Beautiful? Size and Performance of Primary Schools in Poland.

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Abstract

We investigate the size-related features of the production function of Polish primary schools. The interplay of small schools ineffectiveness and of organizational and social difficulties appearing in large schools implies that the relationship between school size and student achievement is non-linear, with the optimal size crucially dependent on the social characteristics of the served population (such as average income per capita). Busing is found to have negative effect on performance, related to average distance of student transportation. The findings present several challenges to consolidation policies on quality ground, quite independent of the more common cost considerations.

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