Tag Archives: Rural Education

The struggle to educate students in rural America

6 Jul

Moi has posted several articles about the struggle to provide children in rural America a quality education. In Rural schools, moi said:
A significant number of children attend rural schools. According to The Rural Assistance Center, the definition of a rural school is:

Question: What is the definition of a rural and/or small school?
Answer: According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the definition of rural schools was revised in 2006 after working with the Census Bureau to create a new locale classification system to capitalize on improved geocoding technology and the 2000 Office of Management and Budget definitions of metro areas that rely less on population size and county boundaries than proximity of an address to an urbanized area. Small schools do not necessarily mean rural, and rural does not mean small. A small school could be an urban school with a decreasing population. Rural schools can be large due to the center school concept where students are bused in to one school to save on costs. Some schools are considered small when compared to the mega-schools of several thousand that are common in some districts. A small school could be one designed to accommodate a specific population of students and their unique needs or a private school. Rural and/or small schools have similar needs and concerns.
According to The Condition of Education in Rural Schools (U.S. Department of Education, 1994), ‘few issues bedevil analysts and planners concerned with rural education more than the question of what actually constitutes “rural”.’ In the Federal Register published December 27, 2000, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced the Standards for Defining Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas. These new standards replace and supersede the 1990 standards for defining Metropolitan Areas. OMB announced definitions of areas based on the new standards and Census 2000 data in June 2003. The lack of a clear, accepted definition of “rural” has impeded research in the field of rural education. When defining the term rural, population and remoteness are important considerations as these factors influence school organization, availability of resources, and economic and social conditions.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, the definition of “small rural schools” are those schools eligible to participate in the Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program. SRSA includes districts with average daily attendance of fewer than 600 students, or districts in which all schools are located in counties with a population density of fewer than 10 persons per square mile, AND all schools served by the districts are located in a rural area with a school locale code of 7 or 8. http://www.raconline.org/topics/schools/schoolsfaq.php

Rural schools face unique challenges. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/rural-schools/
Sarah Carr of the Hechinger Report writes in the Time article, Plight of Rural Schools Laid Bare in Dying Delta Town:

One promising young teacher decided she wanted to start a family outside of the Mississippi Delta. A second teacher left abruptly in the middle of the first semester with little explanation. A third took one spin through town before the school year started and never came back.
Schools across the country struggle to attract and keep good teachers. In this fading Mississippi Delta town of 1,200, a place with a storied history and a slender chance of economic revival, it’s an epic quest. Some residents have even allegedly set their own homes on fire, hoping the insurance money will enable them to start over elsewhere.
“Experienced teachers who don’t live here say they have very little reason to come,” said Pauline Rhodes, the superintendent of Coahoma County School District, which includes Friars Point Elementary, a school of about 150 students–down from 200 two years ago–and the town’s only elementary school. “If you are a really good applicant, you can select what district you go to.”
All of the school’s students come from families living below the poverty level; 97% are African-American. Although the school, which runs from kindergarten through sixth grade, has made some academic gains, in 2011-12 less than half of the students scored proficient on the state’s standardized tests, according to figures from the Mississippi Department of Education. In a typical year, the school has to replace at least a third of its teachers; some years, it’s as many as half, said Sherry Coleman, the school’s hard-working principal. She will have to fill at least five of 13 teaching positions for the 2013-14 school year, and possibly more if some teachers make last-minute decisions to leave over the summer.
There are more rural schools in America than city or suburban ones: During the 2011-12 school year, the U.S. Department of Education reported 33,000 schools in rural locations, 28,000 in suburbs, and 27,000 in cities. But the current approach to school reform in America, which centers on getting the best teacher in front of each classroom, and then holding them accountable for student results, often neglects rural schools’ unique needs. It is rooted in corporate principles of competition and change: If a teacher fails to get the job done, replace him; if a school fails to meet its bottom line (defined by test scores), close it.
As Friars Point shows, this strategy, designed largely with struggling urban school districts in mind, breaks down in impoverished small towns. These are places with little civic or economic infrastructure and a shortage of educated professionals. There’s often no qualified teacher available to take the place of a colleague who does not make the cut, no charter school operator poised to swoop in and take the reins of a “failing” school, and little left to keep the community alive if the school closes outright…. http://nation.time.com/2013/07/03/plight-of-rural-schools-laid-bare-in-dying-delta-town/#ixzz2YIlh6B4k

In Rural education: Dwindling after-school options, moi wrote:
Diette Courrégé writes in Education Week about the challenges rural educators face in the article, Rural After-School Efforts Must Stretch to Serve:

For after-school providers in rural communities, much like their urban counterparts, the economy is an ongoing challenge to their ability to provide high-quality programming to enough students, said Ms. Rinehart, citing recent studies.
“The indication is that rural communities seem to be right in line with the overall after-school picture, which is not optimistic,” she said.
A 2011 Harvard Family Research Project report found that out-of-school-time programs in rural areas had positive effects on students, but they face problems that urban and suburban programs did not.
The report, “Out-of-School Time Programs in Rural Areas,” highlighted high family poverty, low funding, lack of transportation, and a shortage of qualified workers as some of the biggest issues facing rural communities.
On funding, rural areas generally have smaller populations that limit financial resources. They receive less federal, state, and local money for after-school services compared with urban and suburban areas, according to the study.
Another report, “Uncertain Times 2012,” released this year by the Afterschool Alliance, found that nearly four out of 10 programs reported that their budgets were worse today than at the height of the recession in 2008.
That lack of money is huge for Sherry Comer, who has directed an after-school program in Camdenton, Mo., for 14 years. Her program was one of the original recipients of the federal 21st Century Community Learning Center grants, and it’s relied on a combination of sources, such as federal Title I and economic-stimulus money, to keep afloat since then….
Out-of-School Enrichment
Many rural communities rely on 21st Century Community Learning Center grants to serve their students. The program offers funding for centers that provide academic-enrichment opportunities during nonschool hours for children, especially those who are considered poor and attend low-performing schools.
The $1.2 billion program is formula-based and allows states to decide how to distribute the money. There’s no mandate for a rural set-aside, although some states award grant applicants more priority points if they are rural.
An estimated 8.5 million children are in after-school programs nationwide, and more than 1.5 million are in those funded by that pot of federal money, according to the Afterschool Alliance.
Sylvia Lyles, the director for academic improvement and teacher-quality programs in the U.S. Department of Education’s office of elementary and secondary education, which oversees the 21st Century grants, has rural areas on her agenda because they face so many difficulties. She has worked closely with some states on solutions…
In some communities, the lack of money can lead to a lack of access, which is troubling for rural after-school advocates. One national study found that 57 percent of rural parents who said their children didn’t participate in after-school programs cited the unavailability of such programs, compared with 37 percent of suburban parents and 36 percent of urban parents…
The isolation of rural communities can make transportation to and from out-of-school programs a costly and time-intensive prospect. Rural areas typically don’t have the public-transportation systems available in more-populated areas.
“It’s harder to keep the kids here and to get them home,” said Ms. Comer, the Missouri after-school provider. “Transportation is a huge barrier.”
Ms. Comer spends roughly 15 percent of her program’s budget on transportation, but that’s still not enough to be able to deliver students to their front doors. The program trimmed costs by creating drop-off points, and those work well until later in a given month, when parents run low on money, she said. When parents can’t afford the gas to get to work, much less pick up their child from a drop-off point, the child can’t stay after school, she said.
Finding the staff needed to run out-of-school programs can also be difficult. A smaller workforce, low education levels, and high poverty rates make it tough to recruit and retain employees.
In Wyoming, it’s hard to find employees who are willing to come in and work for two hours in the middle of the afternoon with no benefits, Ms. Barton of Lights on in Lander said.
Finding Success
It’s also hard to find money or time to offer additional training, and there’s no money set aside to provide for cost-of-living adjustments or raises, which Ms. Barton called a flaw in the federal 21st Century grant program.
“How do you run these programs effectively and meet the requirements that are becoming much more demanding in terms of expectations?” she said. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/12/12/14rural.h32.html?tkn=LSRFlCqaxp1eMa22PBXdX5i10FfLeHcyffT4&cmp=clp-edweek

Here is the press release from Harvard:

Volume 6, March 2011
Research Update 6: Out-Of-School Time Programs In Rural Areas
Erin Harris, Helen Malone, Tai Sunnanon
Download a PDF of this publication (111 kb) | View all publications in this series

Article Information
• Full Text (HTML)
• Full Text (PDF: 111 kb)
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• Request reprint permission
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Inside this Research Update: The benefits, challenges, and successful strategies of OST programs in rural areas.
Out-of-school time (OST) programming can be a crucial asset to families in rural areas where resources to support children’s learning and development are often insufficient to meet the community’s needs. OST programs that offer youth in rural communities a safe and supportive adult-supervised environment—along with various growth-enhancing opportunities—can promote academic, personal, social, and recreational development. However, programs located in rural areas face a number of challenges in implementation and sustainability. This Research Update highlights findings from evaluations and research studies of nine programs located in rural areas, all of which have been profiled in HFRP’s OST Database.
The rural programs profiled in the OST database represent a diverse range of geographic locations across the U.S. These programs mainly serve elementary-age children, but some also serve middle school grades. Some of the programs focus on a specific demographic, such as Spanish-speaking children or struggling students, while other programs provide services to any interested child within the local community. They also provide a variety of program offerings, from academic supports to recreational activities.
This Research Update addresses the benefits, challenges, and successful strategies of OST programs in rural areas, based on data from the nine programs, and supplemented by other OST research examining programs in rural areas. In addition, the Appendix provides listings of all of the research and evaluations about rural OST programs that we are currently tracking in our OST bibliography.
About this Series
The Research Update series provides insight from the evaluations and research studies profiled in Harvard Family Research Project’s Out-of-School Time (OST) Program Research and Evaluation Database. Research Updates highlight new and innovative topics, methods, and findings in the increasingly sophisticated, growing field of OST research and evaluation.
Free. Available online only.

All children have a right to a good basic education
Related:
Rural schools and the digital divide https://drwilda.com/2012/06/21/rural-schools-and-the-digital-divide/
Gifted students in rural areas https://drwilda.com/2012/08/05/gifted-students-in-rural-areas/
STEM education in rural schools https://drwilda.com/2012/10/09/stem-education-in-rural-schools/
Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com
Dr. Wilda says this about that ©
Blogs by Dr. Wilda:
COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/
Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/
Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

Rural education: Dwindling after-school options

12 Dec

In Rural schools, moi said:

A significant number of children attend rural schools. According to The Rural Assistance Center, the definition of a rural school is:

Question: What is the definition of a rural and/or small school?

Answer: According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the definition of rural schools was revised in 2006 after working with the Census Bureau to create a new locale classification system to capitalize on improved geocoding technology and the 2000 Office of Management and Budget definitions of metro areas that rely less on population size and county boundaries than proximity of an address to an urbanized area. Small schools do not necessarily mean rural, and rural does not mean small. A small school could be an urban school with a decreasing population. Rural schools can be large due to the center school concept where students are bused in to one school to save on costs. Some schools are considered small when compared to the mega-schools of several thousand that are common in some districts. A small school could be one designed to accommodate a specific population of students and their unique needs or a private school. Rural and/or small schools have similar needs and concerns.

According to The Condition of Education in Rural Schools (U.S. Department of Education, 1994), ‘few issues bedevil analysts and planners concerned with rural education more than the question of what actually constitutes “rural”.’ In the Federal Register published December 27, 2000, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced the Standards for Defining Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas. These new standards replace and supersede the 1990 standards for defining Metropolitan Areas. OMB announced definitions of areas based on the new standards and Census 2000 data in June 2003. The lack of a clear, accepted definition of “rural” has impeded research in the field of rural education. When defining the term rural, population and remoteness are important considerations as these factors influence school organization, availability of resources, and economic and social conditions.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the definition of “small rural schools” are those schools eligible to participate in the Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program. SRSA includes districts with average daily attendance of fewer than 600 students, or districts in which all schools are located in counties with a population density of fewer than 10 persons per square mile, AND all schools served by the districts are located in a rural area with a school locale code of 7 or 8. http://www.raconline.org/topics/schools/schoolsfaq.php

Rural schools face unique challenges.                                                     https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/rural-schools/

Diette Courrégé writes in Education Week about the challenges rural educators face in the article, Rural After-School Efforts Must Stretch to Serve:

For after-school providers in rural communities, much like their urban counterparts, the economy is an ongoing challenge to their ability to provide high-quality programming to enough students, said Ms. Rinehart, citing recent studies.

“The indication is that rural communities seem to be right in line with the overall after-school picture, which is not optimistic,” she said.

A 2011 Harvard Family Research Project report found that out-of-school-time programs in rural areas had positive effects on students, but they face problems that urban and suburban programs did not.

The report, “Out-of-School Time Programs in Rural Areas,” highlighted high family poverty, low funding, lack of transportation, and a shortage of qualified workers as some of the biggest issues facing rural communities.

On funding, rural areas generally have smaller populations that limit financial resources. They receive less federal, state, and local money for after-school services compared with urban and suburban areas, according to the study.

Another report, “Uncertain Times 2012,” released this year by the Afterschool Alliance, found that nearly four out of 10 programs reported that their budgets were worse today than at the height of the recession in 2008.

That lack of money is huge for Sherry Comer, who has directed an after-school program in Camdenton, Mo., for 14 years. Her program was one of the original recipients of the federal 21st Century Community Learning Center grants, and it’s relied on a combination of sources, such as federal Title I and economic-stimulus money, to keep afloat since then….

Out-of-School Enrichment

Many rural communities rely on 21st Century Community Learning Center grants to serve their students. The program offers funding for centers that provide academic-enrichment opportunities during nonschool hours for children, especially those who are considered poor and attend low-performing schools.

The $1.2 billion program is formula-based and allows states to decide how to distribute the money. There’s no mandate for a rural set-aside, although some states award grant applicants more priority points if they are rural.

An estimated 8.5 million children are in after-school programs nationwide, and more than 1.5 million are in those funded by that pot of federal money, according to the Afterschool Alliance.

Sylvia Lyles, the director for academic improvement and teacher-quality programs in the U.S. Department of Education’s office of elementary and secondary education, which oversees the 21st Century grants, has rural areas on her agenda because they face so many difficulties. She has worked closely with some states on solutions…

In some communities, the lack of money can lead to a lack of access, which is troubling for rural after-school advocates. One national study found that 57 percent of rural parents who said their children didn’t participate in after-school programs cited the unavailability of such programs, compared with 37 percent of suburban parents and 36 percent of urban parents…

The isolation of rural communities can make transportation to and from out-of-school programs a costly and time-intensive prospect. Rural areas typically don’t have the public-transportation systems available in more-populated areas.

“It’s harder to keep the kids here and to get them home,” said Ms. Comer, the Missouri after-school provider. “Transportation is a huge barrier.”

Ms. Comer spends roughly 15 percent of her program’s budget on transportation, but that’s still not enough to be able to deliver students to their front doors. The program trimmed costs by creating drop-off points, and those work well until later in a given month, when parents run low on money, she said. When parents can’t afford the gas to get to work, much less pick up their child from a drop-off point, the child can’t stay after school, she said.

Finding the staff needed to run out-of-school programs can also be difficult. A smaller workforce, low education levels, and high poverty rates make it tough to recruit and retain employees.

In Wyoming, it’s hard to find employees who are willing to come in and work for two hours in the middle of the afternoon with no benefits, Ms. Barton of Lights on in Lander said.

Finding Success

It’s also hard to find money or time to offer additional training, and there’s no money set aside to provide for cost-of-living adjustments or raises, which Ms. Barton called a flaw in the federal 21st Century grant program.

“How do you run these programs effectively and meet the requirements that are becoming much more demanding in terms of expectations?” she said. http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/12/12/14rural.h32.html?tkn=LSRFlCqaxp1eMa22PBXdX5i10FfLeHcyffT4&cmp=clp-edweek

Here is the press release from Harvard:

Research Updates: Highlights From the Out-of-School Time Database

Inside this Research Update:  The benefits, challenges, and successful strategies of OST programs in rural areas.

Out-of-school time (OST) programming can be a crucial asset to families in rural areas where resources to support children’s learning and development are often insufficient to meet the community’s needs. OST programs that offer youth in rural communities a safe and supportive adult-supervised environment—along with various growth-enhancing opportunities—can promote academic, personal, social, and recreational development. However, programs located in rural areas face a number of challenges in implementation and sustainability. This Research Update highlights findings from evaluations and research studies of nine programs located in rural areas, all of which have been profiled in HFRP’s OST Database.

The rural programs profiled in the OST database represent a diverse range of geographic locations across the U.S. These programs mainly serve elementary-age children, but some also serve middle school grades. Some of the programs focus on a specific demographic, such as Spanish-speaking children or struggling students, while other programs provide services to any interested child within the local community. They also provide a variety of program offerings, from academic supports to recreational activities.

This Research Update addresses the benefits, challenges, and successful strategies of OST programs in rural areas, based on data from the nine programs, and supplemented by other OST research examining programs in rural areas.  In addition, the Appendix provides listings of all of the research and evaluations about rural OST programs that we are currently tracking in our OST bibliography.

About this Series
The
Research Update series provides insight from the evaluations and research studies profiled in Harvard Family Research Project’s Out-of-School Time (OST) Program Research and Evaluation Database. Research Updates highlight new and innovative topics, methods, and findings in the increasingly sophisticated, growing field of OST research and evaluation.

Free. Available online only.

All children have a right to a good basic education

Related:

Rural schools and the digital divide                                            https://drwilda.com/2012/06/21/rural-schools-and-the-digital-divide/

Gifted students in rural areas                                              https://drwilda.com/2012/08/05/gifted-students-in-rural-areas/

STEM education in rural schools                                        https://drwilda.com/2012/10/09/stem-education-in-rural-schools/

Where information leads to Hope. ©                    Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©                            http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                                 http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                              https://drwilda.com/

STEM education in rural schools

9 Oct

Moi wrote about the challenges of providing technology in rural schools in Rural schools and the digital divide:

In Rural Schools In America Fight To Bridge Digital Divide, Butrymowicz writes in the Huffington Post:

Rural schools have long been leaders in distance-learning and online education—to offer a full slate of courses to their students, they’ve had to be. In fact, Edison has a fully online school that enrolls about 100 other students in the district. But when it comes to technology inside traditional classrooms, the small sizes—and budgets—of rural schools present unique hurdles…. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/21/rural-schools-in-america-_n_1617167.html?utm_hp_ref=email_share

The Rural Assistance Center has some great information about technology in rural areas.

In Technology Frequently Asked Questions, The Rural Assistance Center discusses technology issues. http://www.raconline.org/topics/technology/technologyfaq.phphttps://drwilda.com/2012/06/21/rural-schools-and-the-digital-divide/

Moi wrote about the unique challenges faced by rural schools in Rural schools:

The Council of State Governments‘ report, Rural Schools: Federal Expenditures & State Perspectives has the following key findings:

Key Findings

1. Rural schools and districts are at a significant disadvantage when seeking Title I funding.

2. Rural Education Achievement Program funds help only a small portion of rural schools and districts.

3. Rural schools due to infrastructure or staffing shortages find it difficult to compete for competitive grants.

4. Rural schools do not receive preferential federal funding, even though it costs more to educate rural students.

5. Low state funding, leads to low federal funding. This means that if Utah spends $5,521 per pupil while Rhode Island spends $13,410 per pupil, Rhode Island will receive the larger allocation even after controlling for the cost of living in that states.8

6. Distance learning and integrating technology into the classroom is a costly necessity. In the face of school consolidation and increased competitiveness in the college application process, rural schools and districts must provide more schooling options and more advanced courses, if they want their students to succeed.

7. The recruitment and retention of highly qualified teachers is an issue for rural schools. Rural schools tend to employ teachers who teach more than one core subject, are miles from the nearest university or college and who may be paraprofessionals, all of which makes hiring and retaining qualified teachers a challenge.

8. Pockets of rural students exist everywhere in the United States and their composition varies ethnically, racially, socioeconomically, and in English proficiency. There is no one way to address all rural communities. http://www.csgdc.org/memberservices/documents/RuralSchool-FederalExpendituresandStatePerspectives.pdfBecause a significant number of children attend rural schools, rural schools must receive the resources to educate their children. https://drwilda.com/2012/04/25/rural-schools/

Diette Courrege reports in the Education Week article, STEM Initiative Shows Promise in Rural Schools:

A proposal turned down for federal Investing in Innovation funding is showing promising first-year results after a scaled-down version was implemented in six rural schools.

The Rural School and Community Trust, a nonprofit rural education advocacy group, decided to cover the roughly $185,000 cost for a small group of North Carolina and Louisiana schools to try the STEM Students and Teachers Achieving Reform program.

The program is based on a model developed by the nonprofit GenerationYES. It gives professional development training to a a small group of hand-picked students, dubbed Student STEM Leaders, and teachers, which is particularly important for rural schools that often struggle to give students technology access. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/rural_education/2012/10/stem_initiative_promising_for_rural_schools.html?intc=es

Citation:

STEM STUDENTS AND TEACHERS ACHIEVING REFORM STEM STAR

Evaluation Report 2011–2012

Phyllis Campbell Ault, Ed.D.

August 2012

About Education Northwest

Education Northwest (formerly Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory) was founded more than 40 years ago as a nonprofit corporation. The organization’s mission is to build capacity in schools, families, and communities through applied research and development. We draw on many years of experience designing and conducting educational and social research, as well as providing consultation for a broad array of research and development efforts.

STEM STAR was supported by the Rural School and Community Trust, and implemented by Generation YES. Education Northwest conducted the external evaluation at the request of the program leaders. The team working on this evaluation has extensive experience evaluating technology-infused programs of this scope.

Contact

Education Northwest

101 SW Main Street, Suite 500

Portland, OR 97204

http://www.educationnorthwest.org

Tel: 503-275-9500

http://www.ruraledu.org/user_uploads/file/STEM-STAR-Report-2011-2012.pdf

Here is information about Generation Yes, the program used:

Generation YES – Technology Integration & Student Empowerment

GenYES – Student-Supported Professional Development

GenYES (Generation of Youth and Educators Succeeding) creates a student leadership team or class that can help teachers with tech support and technology integration projects. GenYES offers a structured model with curriculum and online tools proven in thousands of schools. It’s a win-win: GenYES students gain 21st century skills, teachers school-wide receive high-quality tech support and help using technology in their own classroom. (more)

TechYES – Student Technology Literacy Assessment and Certification

TechYES provides everything needed to run a student-centered, project-based national technology literacy certification program for grades 6-9. TechYES provides a robust project-based learning support system that connects projects to Common Core Standards, meets ISTE NETS technology standards for students, and fulfills e-rate requirements. (more)

TechYES Extended Technology Literacy Curriculum

Is your technology curriculum stuck in the last century? Update your media and technology class with technology curriculum that supports 21st century project-based learning. (more)

TechYES or GenYES. Which One is Right for Me?

Are you wondering which Generation YES program is right for you? Once you’ve explored the details of these programs, you may still have questions about this. This page will help you decide which Generation YES program is the right fit for you.

http://genyes.org/programs/

All children have a right to a good basic education

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©    http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©                                      http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©                                                                                        https://drwilda.com/

Gifted students in rural areas

5 Aug

In Rural schools, moi said:

A significant number of children attend rural schools. According to The Rural Assistance Center, the definition of a rural school is:

Question: What is the definition of a rural and/or small school?

Answer: According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the definition of rural schools was revised in 2006 after working with the Census Bureau to create a new locale classification system to capitalize on improved geocoding technology and the 2000 Office of Management and Budget definitions of metro areas that rely less on population size and county boundaries than proximity of an address to an urbanized area. Small schools do not necessarily mean rural, and rural does not mean small. A small school could be an urban school with a decreasing population. Rural schools can be large due to the center school concept where students are bused in to one school to save on costs. Some schools are considered small when compared to the mega-schools of several thousand that are common in some districts. A small school could be one designed to accommodate a specific population of students and their unique needs or a private school. Rural and/or small schools have similar needs and concerns.

According to The Condition of Education in Rural Schools (U.S. Department of Education, 1994), ‘few issues bedevil analysts and planners concerned with rural education more than the question of what actually constitutes “rural”.’ In the Federal Register published December 27, 2000, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced the Standards for Defining Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas. These new standards replace and supersede the 1990 standards for defining Metropolitan Areas. OMB announced definitions of areas based on the new standards and Census 2000 data in June 2003. The lack of a clear, accepted definition of “rural” has impeded research in the field of rural education. When defining the term rural, population and remoteness are important considerations as these factors influence school organization, availability of resources, and economic and social conditions.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the definition of “small rural schools” are those schools eligible to participate in the Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program. SRSA includes districts with average daily attendance of fewer than 600 students, or districts in which all schools are located in counties with a population density of fewer than 10 persons per square mile, AND all schools served by the districts are located in a rural area with a school locale code of 7 or 8.

http://www.raconline.org/topics/schools/schoolsfaq.php

Rural schools face unique challenges.                                                     https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/rural-schools/

Donald L. Kordosky has written the School Administrator article, Attending to the Gifted in Rural Schools:

Rural school districts nationwide have a difficult time meeting the needs of their gifted students.

The evidence has become obvious during my career as a teacher, building administrator and superintendent of a 600-student district in the central Cascade Mountains of Oregon, an hour from the closest urban area.

The last point shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s not just limited funding that hampers rural schools from serving gifted students; it’s also the distance to supplemental learning resources that educators in cities and suburbs can easily access.

Assuming 2.5 percent of our students in K-12 education qualify as talented and gifted, my calculations suggest 378,000 gifted students attend rural schools nationwide. Most do not receive an education aligned with their unique abilities and learning readiness, spending most or all of their time in traditional heterogeneous classrooms with nongifted peers. The gifted student often is simply provided with more of the same work as the average student or is expected to function as a “classroom helper” for students of lower ability.

Research by Marcia Gentry, Mary Rizza and Robert Gable, appearing in the spring 2001 issue of Gifted Child Quarterly, shows rural gifted students enjoy school more than their urban and suburban talented and gifted peers. This is partially due to the adult and peer relationships that are fostered in rural settings that are much less common in urban settings. Yet gifted students suffer greater rates of depression, discipline issues, suicide attempts, dropping out and self-destructive behavior, including alcoholism, drug abuse and sexual promiscuity.

The federal government spends almost nothing on gifted education. While most states mandate gifted education programs, they do not provide any additional funding for gifted education….

The federal government spends almost nothing on gifted education. While most states mandate gifted education programs, they do not provide any additional funding for gifted education.

Clarifying Procedures
There are strategies a district administrator can pursue that will result in improved services for gifted students without substantial cost increases.

Make gifted education programs a focus of improvement in your district….

Clarify identification and exiting procedures. Develop and implement clear ways for students to be identified for talented and gifted programming and to leave a program….

Attend to the heterogeneous classroom. Most services for gifted students in rural areas are going to occur in the heterogeneous classroom, so the most effective place to address this issue is there. The use of differentiated teaching strategies to provide instruction for all students is paramount. You can make this a priority for your teachers….

Create individualized education plans for gifted students. This could mirror the mandated individualized education plans for students in special education. Annual gifted team meetings include a building administrator, the school’s coordinator for talented and gifted, the student’s parents and teacher(s) and the student. These meetings serve as the cornerstone for constructing a strong districtwide gifted program. Every student identified as talented or gifted in Oakridge participates in two TAGEP (talented and gifted education plan) meetings each school year where individualized education plans are designed and performance outcomes are monitored. http://www.aasa.org/SchoolAdministratorArticle.aspx?id=20066

There are things that parents of gifted children can do to help their child succeed.

Joan D. Lewis, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Teacher Education at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and the Director of Gifted Education for the University of Nebraska campuses and Cherry Hafer, in her 27th year in rural schools have written The Challenges of Being Gifted in a Rural Community about what parents can do to help their children.

Specific Things Parents Can Do

Since schools have limited resources and educators wear so many hats, particularly in rural schools, support from well-informed parents is needed more than ever. Parents must be knowledgeable about gifted education and need to understand their community’s abilities to meet the educational needs of gifted students.
Parents in rural areas can use their individual skills and advocacy efforts to:

Potential mentors need to be screened carefully, and students should be supervised during mentoring sessions to ensure safety.

  • work with teachers to find resources and materials that are needed for accelerated and enriched learning experiences in class and outside of school. Look for materials on school subjects, vocational, and avocational interests via Internet search engines (Google.com, Ask.com, Search.Yahoo.com, or the Web index site bubl.ac.uk); books and media in public, college, and university libraries; and books for parents of gifted learners (see the resources listed in the sidebar).
  • access and share information about educational opportunities for gifted and talented students provided by university talent searches and other programs run by universities, colleges, and other organizations. http://www.tip.duke.edu/node/842

All children have a right to a good basic education

Related:

Rural schools and the digital divide                      https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/rural-schools-and-the-digital-divide/

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Rural schools

25 Apr

A significant number of children attend rural schools. According to the Rural Assistance Center, the definition of a rural school is:

Question: What is the definition of a rural and/or small school?

Answer: According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the definition of rural schools was revised in 2006 after working with the Census Bureau to create a new locale classification system to capitalize on improved geocoding technology and the 2000 Office of Management and Budget definitions of metro areas that rely less on population size and county boundaries than proximity of an address to an urbanized area. Small schools do not necessarily mean rural, and rural does not mean small. A small school could be an urban school with a decreasing population. Rural schools can be large due to the center school concept where students are bused in to one school to save on costs. Some schools are considered small when compared to the mega-schools of several thousand that are common in some districts. A small school could be one designed to accommodate a specific population of students and their unique needs or a private school. Rural and/or small schools have similar needs and concerns.

According to The Condition of Education in Rural Schools (U.S. Department of Education, 1994), ‘few issues bedevil analysts and planners concerned with rural education more than the question of what actually constitutes “rural”.’ In the Federal Register published December 27, 2000, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced the Standards for Defining Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas. These new standards replace and supersede the 1990 standards for defining Metropolitan Areas. OMB announced definitions of areas based on the new standards and Census 2000 data in June 2003. The lack of a clear, accepted definition of “rural” has impeded research in the field of rural education. When defining the term rural, population and remoteness are important considerations as these factors influence school organization, availability of resources, and economic and social conditions.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the definition of “small rural schools” are those schools eligible to participate in the Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program. SRSA includes districts with average daily attendance of fewer than 600 students, or districts in which all schools are located in counties with a population density of fewer than 10 persons per square mile, AND all schools served by the districts are located in a rural area with a school locale code of 7 or 8.

http://www.raconline.org/topics/schools/schoolsfaq.php

Rural schools face unique challenges.

Jeremy Ayers reports in the Center for American Progress report, Make Rural Schools A Priority:

One in five students attends a rural school, and more than half of all school districts and one-third of all public schools are in rural areas. Rural student enrollment grew 15 percent between 2002 and 2005, an increase of 1.3 million students. That compares to only 1 percent growth in nationwide enrollment during the same time period.

Definitions of “rural” vary. The U.S. Census Bureau defines rural areas by their geographic distance from urban centers, and as communities that contain fewer than 2,500 people. The Department of Education defines rural schools as those located in districts with fewer than 600 students. Some rural education advocates identify rural schools as those residing in communities with fewer than 2,500 residents, following the Census classification, but also argue for including schools in towns up to 25,000 people. The exact definition matters less than the realization that a large number of rural schools exist and face unique challenges and opportunities. Then there are “frontier” schools that may have only dozens of students, located in very remote or isolated parts of the country such as Alaska, Appalachia, the prairies of the Plains states, and the Mountain West.

Many rural areas of the country contain concentrated poverty, just as urban areas do. Rural schools face particular difficulty in recruiting and retaining teachers and principals. Rural schools continue to lag behind others in Internet access, and rural high schools are not able to provide advanced coursework such as AP and IB classes in the way more urban and suburban areas do. Research on rural education has, at times, been underfunded or not encouraged. And, overall, rural areas have experienced shrinking tax bases, shifting local economies, and brain drain among young people who move to more urban areas after high school graduation.

Download this brief (pdf)

Read this brief in your web browser (Scribd)

Jeremy Ayers is the Senior Education Policy Analyst at American Progress.

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/08/rural_schools.html

One of the significant challenges faced by rural schools is complying with “No Child Left Behind.”

Education Week has an interesting issue brief, Rural Education:

More schools were in rural locations than in either cities or suburbs in 2009-2010, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Based on data from the “Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey,” slightly more than 33 percent of regular elementary and secondary public schools nationwide were in locations classified as rural by NCES (2009b). In all, over 24 percent of public school students attended rural schools that year. In about half of the states, students in rural areas make up a majority of the public elementary and secondary school population.

Those high numbers, combined with the potential advantages of small schools and the challenges that rural schools face in meeting certain mandates of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, have prompted experts to realize that rural education merits increased attention and policy consideration.

It is important to keep in mind that rural schools differ greatly from one another. But as a group, students in these schools have generally scored as well as or better than non-rural students on standardized tests (Loveless, 2003; Williams, 2003; Fan & Chen, 1999). Average test scores on the 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) showed that 4th and 8th grade students in rural schools perform at similar levels in reading, science, and mathematics to their suburban peers and better than their urban peers (National Center for Education Statistics, 2007).

However, the nationwide picture obscures achievement levels that, in fact, vary greatly from state to state. Rural students perform significantly better than non-rural students in some states, but significantly poorer in others. Such differences seem to be linked to variances in a wide range of school factors, such as instructional resources and advanced course offerings (Lee & McIntire, 2000). The spread of high-speed Internet access and development of online learning programs in several states and districts has helped expand opportunities and access to resources for rural students in recent years.

Slightly more than 33 percent of regular elementary and secondary public schools nationwide are in locations classified as rural by the National Center for Education Statistics.

The makeup of student populations in rural schools differs considerably across the country as well. As a whole, rural students are predominantly white (75 percent); approximately 10 percent are black, and about 11 percent are Hispanic, according to 2007-08 data from NCES (2010).

While the typical rural school has a smaller proportion of students receiving free or reduced-price lunches compared to the typical urban school (Loveless, 2003), some rural areas struggle with extreme poverty. According to 2009 figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, 24.2 percent of rural children across the nation live below the federal poverty level, up from 19 percent in 2000 (Mattingly & Stransky, 2010).

Studies in several states have shown that small schools and districts can overcome the adverse effects of poverty on student achievement and narrow the achievement gap between poor students and their more affluent peers (Johnson, 2004; Johnson, Howley, & Howley, 2002; Bickel & Howley, 2000). Such findings are particularly relevant in rural education, where the average school serves approximately 338 students (National Center for Education Statistics, 2009c).

Despite research that points to advantages of small schools, however, many rural schools and districts have been forced to consolidate with other schools and districts to cut costs. Between 1930 and 2000, consolidation reduced the number of U.S. school districts by 91 percent and the number of schools by 67 percent, while the number of students increased by 83 percent in that time (Howley & Howley, 2001)…

Rural schools have long struggled with attracting and retaining teachers. A nationwide survey of rural school superintendents conducted by the American Association of School Administrators and the Appalachia Educational Laboratory found the superintendents identified low salaries and social and geographic isolation as the main factors responsible for their difficulties in recruiting and retaining teachers (Schwartzbeck et al., 2003).

According to the NCES report “Status of Education in Rural America, 2007,” the average base salary for teachers in rural areas was $44,000, well below the national average of $49,600, and trailing the average salaries for teachers in towns, $45,200; suburbs, $54,200; and cities at $51,200 (National Center for Education Statistics, 2009a). Small rural schools also heavily rely on teachers to teach more than one subject area (Schwartzbeck et al., 2003).

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 requires states to raise all student performance up to the “proficient” level on state tests by the 2013-14 school year. Individual schools must meet state “adequate yearly progress,” or AYP, targets toward this goal for their overall student populations and certain subgroups such as low-income students, black students, English-language learners, etc.

The law poses particular problems for small rural schools that have tiny numbers of students who take state tests each year. In such schools, a relatively small amount of test data determines whether the school meets AYP targets. Some experts feel that because of this, small schools and districts face the potential of being misidentified as failing or in need of improvement. They suggest that states raise the minimum number of tests-takers for AYP purposes. But the same experts also caution that such a solution could mean that small schools that need help would not be included in the accountability system, and could slip through the cracks (Jimerson, 2004a; Jimerson, 2004b).

http://www.edweek.org/ew/issues/rural-education/

The Council of State Governments studies rural schools.

The Council of State Governments‘ report, Rural Schools: Federal Expenditures & State Perspectives has the following key findings:

Key Findings

1. Rural schools and districts are at a significant disadvantage when seeking Title I funding.

2. Rural Education Achievement Program funds help only a small portion of rural schools and districts.

3. Rural schools due to infrastructure or staffing shortages find it difficult to compete for competitive grants.

4. Rural schools do not receive preferential federal funding, even though it costs more to educate rural students.

5. Low state funding, leads to low federal funding. This means that if Utah spends $5,521 per pupil while Rhode Island spends $13,410 per pupil, Rhode Island will receive the larger allocation even after controlling for the cost of living in that states.8

6. Distance learning and integrating technology into the classroom is a costly necessity. In the face of school consolidation and increased competitiveness in the college application process, rural schools and districts must provide more schooling options and more advanced courses, if they want their students to succeed.

7. The recruitment and retention of highly qualified teachers is an issue for rural schools. Rural schools tend to employ teachers who teach more than one core subject, are miles from the nearest university or college and who may be paraprofessionals, all of which makes hiring and retaining qualified teachers a challenge.

8. Pockets of rural students exist everywhere in the United States and their composition varies ethnically, racially, socioeconomically, and in English proficiency. There is no one way to address all rural communities.

http://www.csgdc.org/memberservices/documents/RuralSchool-FederalExpendituresandStatePerspectives.pdf

Because a significant number of children attend rural schools, rural schools must receive the resources to educate their children.

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