ERIC Number: ED393617
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Jul-31
Reference Count: N/A
The Role of Rural Schools in Community Development: Policy Issues and Implications. Program Report.
This report explores issues related to expanding the roles of schools and youth in rural community development. It is suggested that rural schools, when working in partnership with local leaders and residents, can have a positive impact on community viability. The report is based on a project involving a partnership between a local school system and a rural Midwest community, and a second project implementing school-to-work transition in an isolated rural Midwest community. Research suggests that if community development efforts are to be successful, they must build social capital, and this requires developing strong linkages between the community and the school. Approaches for building school-community linkages include establishing the school as a community center that serves as both a resource for community learning and the center for the delivery of community services; integrating the community into the curriculum; and developing school-based enterprises that allow students to develop entrepreneurial skills while meeting a service need in their communities. Sustaining community-based programs requires strong support from community organizations, groups, individuals, and leaders. The report describes how three rural communities in the Midwest implemented policies that contributed to the success and survival of their community-based programs. Strategies for developing effective policy support include capitalizing on the effectiveness of youth as advocates and policymakers, building coalitions, being patient and persistent, educating public officials, using the budgeting process as a policy tool, covering all bases, and obtaining solid information and data about why the program should be granted policy status. Contains 25 references. (LP)
Descriptors: Community Development, Community Leaders, Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Partnerships in Education, Program Descriptions, Public Policy, Rural Development, Rural Education, Rural Schools, School Community Programs, School Community Relationship, School Role, Social Capital, Student Role, Youth
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Northwest Regional Educational Lab., Portland, OR, Rural Education Program.
Identifiers: Community Viability; United States (Midwest)