The division of Los Angeles' large urban comprehensive high schools into groups of Small Learning Communities (SLCs) within the school campus was proposed as a way to improve academic outcomes. While the effects of school size on students have been explored in detail and converting school structure "in-place" is less costly than constructing several new small schools, little research has been completed regarding the structural or academic effects of dividing large schools into whole-school or "wall-to-wall" SLCs on the same campus. With this policy and research backdrop, this dissertation defines and identifies communities of students, evaluates the level of sorting and segregation in schools and communities in schools, explores correlations between school structure and academic outcomes, and evaluates the effects of SLC implementation on school structure and academic outcomes.
Table of Contents
Data Description and Methods
Categorizing Community Compositional Variation
School Structure Changes across Time
Correlations between school structure and academic outcomes
Effect of SLC on student outcomes
This document was submitted as a dissertation in September 2010 in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The faculty committee that supervised and approved the dissertation consisted of Paul Dreyer (Chair), Harold Green, and Francisco Martorell.
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