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ERIC Number: ED349143
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Toward the Construction of a Federal Policy-Impact Code for Classifying the Nation's Rural School Districts. Working Paper.
Stephens, E. Robert
Historically, policies and funding guidelines for most federal educational programs have not adequately recognized the diversity of rural schools. A dichotomy of rural and urban, or even a tripartite classification (urban, suburban, and rural), would mask the internal diversity of rural schools. Current efforts to understand the condition of public education in this country will fall short unless this diversity is acknowledged. The federal government, particularly the Department of Education, should take the lead in developing a policy-impact code for classifying the nation's rural school districts. A desirable policy-impact code would use variables that have demonstrated predictive value relevant to differences among rural districts, would include all rural school districts, and would be limited to a number of categories small enough to be recognized and understood easily. Other criteria may include content of indicators (relevance for policy formation) and data collection standards. Such criteria suggest a causal-model approach to indicator development that would include four classes of indicators: context, input, process, and outcome. An initial literature review identified about 90 possible indicators, of which 36 were chosen. The National Center for Education Statistics should convene a study panel to consider the policy and technical issues involved in developing this federal classification code. This paper contains 79 references and data tables detailing major education programs of various federal agencies. (SV)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Appalachia Educational Lab., Charleston, WV.
Note: For a related document, see RC 018 791.