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Not Enough Said

Study: consolidation of school districts into larger units leads to higher dropout rate!

Blog Posts for April 2011
Blog Posts for May 2011
Blog Posts for June 2011
Blog Posts for July 2011
Blog posts for August 2011
Blog Posts for September 2011
Radio Talk Show Host Fails to Study School Consolidation for Fayette County Study
Not Enough Said project of: Net the Truth Online
Rep. Mahoney Reading Not Enough Said? Poses Study Could Show No Savings by Admin. Consolidation?
Fayette Special: Model for Other Power Grabbing PA State Legislators to Follow
PA Rep. Tim Mahoney Proposal to House Education Cmte Shows Goal To Wrest Local Control
County-wide School District Legislation Allows Board of Commissioners Authority to Equalize District
Not Enough Said on This Issue Site per Proposal for Fayette Vo-Tech/STEM Center
Confirmation Why Herald-Standard Didn't Question Rep. About His Advisory Committee
Plan for Countywide School District Consolidation = Fayette Forward Strategic Plan
Report PA School Consolidation Cost Effectiveness
Rep. Mahoney Claims After Consolidation Savings 15% to 20% Where We Ask?
Is Rep. Tim Mahoney About to Change Structure of School Administration All on His Own?
Herald-Standard & Rep. Tim Mahoney in League to Bait & Switch Public
Candidates for School Directors On the Fence or Supportive Urged to View Wealth of Critical Studies
Herald-Standard Disappointed School Board Candidates Not All Rosey County Consolidation
Study: consolidation of school districts into larger units leads to higher dropout rate!
We Can Hear It Now Some of my Opponents Don't Want The People To Decide
We Can Hear it Now: Are You Against the People Deciding Consolidation Choice
Report PA School Boards Association Study on Consolidation 2009
Cost Savings Claimed 2 Years Before Local Study Begins Now Claim Lowered!
Bid Process? Study Weighted to Cost-Savings Due to Results for Center & Monaca Consolidations?
Does Consolidation into Large District Save Costs?
Did Merged Districts Hold True to Standard & Poor Study: Taxes May Rise in 1 District
Merged Monaca & Center School Districts Less than 2,999 Students!
First Eliminate School Property Taxes, Candidate Says, Then We'll See @ Consolidation?
Central Valley School District: Archetype for (Fayette) County-wide Consolidation?
What is the Impact of Consolidation (into larger district) on Students?
What is the Impact of Consolidation (into larger district) on Rural Community?
No Public Referendum Required for Two or More School Districts to Merge
PA Economy League Report Municipal and School District Functional Mergers & Structural Consolidation
Experts Slam Consolidation Small/Medium Size Districts into Larger One
Not Enough Said Requests Talk Show Host Read Standard & Poor Study
Legislation Designed to Enable Boards of County Commissioners Power to Place Measure on Ballot
Article: PA Legislators Push Plans for School Consolidation
Fayette School Director Candidates Take Opposing View of Countywide Consolidation Plan
Get It Spot On and Don't Cover Up When You Don't
Unified Countywide School District for "Taxation Purposes"
Uniformity in the Course of Study in the Schools of the Several Grades
Rep. Mahoney Meets With Herald Standard Editorial Board
PA Dept. of Ed. Retirees Now Education Management Group Consultants to Conduct Study
Promise Local Sub-districts in Countywide School Retain Local Identity
Book of Quotes by Not Enough Said
Links per county-wide school consolidation issue
Contact Me
Stop Uniform Curriculum County-Wide School Consolidation Power Grab
Fayette County Commissioner Candidates Responses to School Regionalization Question
Tribune-Review article per PA school consolidation legislation
Article: Region to Benefit from 2 New STEM Education Centers
Herald-Standard Article: Unity between Business and Education Needed in Fayette County
Marcellus Shale Gas Program of Interest Not an Endorsement
Radio Talk Show Host: Gas Impact Concerns Citizens Demand DEP Resolve
Votefix will be providing an update soon

We know we won't see Rep. Tim Mahoney, (PA-D-51st) the primary sponsor of two bills and a House Resolution to offer a plan to consolidate six (or 7) Fayette County area school districts into a single countywide school district (with uniform curriculum),  distribute the following easily obtained studies.  But we will.
We doubt Rep. Mahoney's Advisory Committee will be promoting the following studies at all, either.
Nor will we see the Education Management Group whose consultants have ties to the PA Department of Education (and who remain unnamed by Rep. Tim Mahoney and the Herald-Standard) and organized directly by Rep. Mahoney include the following studies in its study.  EMG, LLC was hired by the local Redevelopment Authority of the City of Uniontown after Requests for Proposals were advertised and EMG, LLC was the only so-called "bidder."  The Request for Proposals was obtained by NES and we discuss it thoroughly on our blog. 
The study is supposed to determine cost savings for administration consolidation of Fayette County Schools, and impact of consolidation of administration (and other purposes) on quality of education, or improvement of education in Fayette County Schools. 

What the Research Says (or Doesn’t Say): Consolidation of School Districts

Education Northwest recently received a request for the latest research on school district consolidation. As we discovered in our literature review, this is a strategy being considered by many states, especially those with large rural populations, such as Maine, Montana, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington. Although cost savings is the driving force behind most consolidation efforts, other important issues include: local educational autonomy, community identity, the pros and cons of larger districts, and the impact on students.

Below we provide a sampling of the most pertinent research we found. A full bibliography is available upon request from

What Is The Impact On Students?

In our search, we found only two studies that looked at student outcomes of consolidation; the other studies compared student outcomes of large districts with small districts. The outcome studies we found compared graduation and dropout rates with pre- and post-consolidation efforts—we found no studies that used student achievement data.

Bowen, S.L. (2007). Is bigger that much better? School district size, high school completion, and post-secondary enrollment rates in Maine. Maine View, 5(10), 1–5. Retrieved from

This study by the Maine Heritage Policy Center compared high school completion rates of the 15 largest and 15 smallest school districts in Maine and found that the graduation rate for smaller districts was six percent higher than for larger districts.

Greene, J.P., & Winters, M.A. (2005). The effect of residential school choice on public high school graduation rates (Education Working Paper No. 9). Retrieved from Manhattan Institute for Policy Research website

This study calculated the graduation rate over the last decade using officially reported enrollment and diploma counts made available by the U.S. Department of Education in its Core of Common Data (CCD). The study examined the relationship between graduation rates and changes in each state's average school district size. The researchers found that “decreasing the size of school districts has a substantially and statistically significant positive effect on graduation rates. Conversely, consolidation of school districts into larger units leads to more students dropping out of high school.”

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Not Enough Said got a start in early May  2011

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