School Consolidation and Notions of Progress: Why Community Actors Almost Always Lose the Fight to Keep Local Schools and How They Can Turn the Tables


  • Patricia Elliott University of Regina



school consolitation, community action, community school


Supported by a growing body of research, the idea that schools have an essential role to play in local community cohesion and development has gained currency among urban and rural school advocates alike. Yet moving theory into action often grinds to a halt in the face of a recalcitrant bureaucracy. To understand why, it is important to step back and examine the theoretical framework of progress that has driven school consolidation and bureaucratization over the past century. Knowing these underlying power dynamics will help community advocates understand where their power is weakest, and where it is strongest, leading to more effective community action in defence of local schools.

Keywords: school consolitation; community action; community school