ERIC Number: ED327361
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990
Reference Count: N/A
Creating a New Future in West River. A Series of Case Studies by Teachers, Principals, Superintendents and an Outside Observer of the South Dakota Rural Schools and Community Development Projects.
Cole, R.; And Others
Many rural communities share these complaints: (1) an exodus of the best and brightest young people; (2) a changing and ambivalent self-concept about the identity and the future of the community; and (3) a scarcity of good jobs to act as the mortar that bonds the other elements together. The South Dakota Rural Schools and Community Development Program was begun for the purpose of economic development and community-building through the public schools. Based on observations and interviews with community members and school personnel, five communities in the West River region are profiled to show how the program is working: Edgemont; Belle Fourche; Buffalo; Presho; and Custer. Identified problems are similar in all of small-town and rural America, though to different degrees. The problems are: (1) administrators with an overabundance of roles; (2) higher expectations of already overworked teachers in an effort to expand curriculum offerings; (3) the centrality of professional development to school improvement; and (4) the enormous and growing gap between what schools are doing now and what they will need to be doing to meet the demands of the information age. The aim of saving rural communities through their schools runs counter to the ways in which the school establishment has operated for generations. In striving to affect both rural life and life within schools, the goal of the Rural Schools and Community Development Program may not be reached for many years, as the obstacles that face the project are formidable, growing out of the deepest structure of schooling, untouched by generations of reform. (ALL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Mid-Continent Regional Educational Lab., Aurora, CO.
Identifiers: South Dakota