ERIC Number: ED172979
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-May
Reference Count: 0
Improving Rural Education: Past Efforts, Some Ideas for the Future.
Gjelten, Tom; Nachtigal, Paul
Four different assumptions about the nature of rural education govern major strategies to reform its deficiencies: rural education is a problem because it is not urban; some small isolated schools are "necessarily existent"; small schools are desirable because of flexibility and responsiveness; and educational problems are independent of school size. An effectiveness study of 14 currently used U.S. rural education reform strategies reveals that successful strategies are highly congruent with community cultural setting and perceived needs, support and are supported by an important community sector, and are long lasting, low-budget programs. The "one-best-system" approach often seen in consolidation efforts is unsuccessful because rural schools are unique in their values, staff, and perception of total education. Rural education would be improved with better leadership and better teachers, access to services available to urban systems, more direct community involvement, heavily federally funded model systems, and more adoption of proven educational practices. State and federal eudcation policy should consider rural community differences, rural education development capability should be nourished, and alternative solutions to rural education problems should be encouraged. (SB)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Bureau of Elementary and Secondary Education (DHEW/OE), Washington, DC.; National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.; Office of the Assistant Secretary for Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.; Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO.
Note: Paper presented at the Rural Education Seminar (College Park, Maryland, 29-31 May 1979); Materials presented are from an in-process study of rural school improvement efforts funded by the National Institute of Education to the Education Commission of the States