Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
Betty Ford Classroom
Abstract Over the past two decades, many urban school districts have restructured large, traditional high schools into smaller learning communities. The idea behind this movement is that small schools provide a more personalized learning environment that allows teachers to more effectively address the multi-faceted needs of disadvantaged students. Despite mixed evidence on the efficacy of such reforms in practice, Detroit and other high-poverty districts have pressed forward with the creation of smaller high schools.