ERIC Number: ED309911
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-May
Reference Count: N/A
Education Reform and Rural Economic Health: Policy Implications.
This paper examines and questions popular ideas about education and its relationship to the economic well-being of individuals, communities, regions, and the nation. It suggests that the criteria used to develop economic and educational strategies have produced mixed results at best, especially in rural areas. Since family income is related to student performance and the rural poverty rate is 50% higher than in urban areas, rural economic development should be as much or more a part of school improvement than strategies (e.g., consolidation) that are confined to the school level. Despite some limited successes of rural industrialization strategies, rural poverty, and Appalachian poverty in particular, has not improved. Educational reform should take into consideration the profound economic and social changes brought on by industrialization and new technologies. Traditional policy constraints on rural schools should be removed to encourage innovations that better link them with their surrounding communities. Other factors to be taken into consideration for rural education reforms include school size, experiential learning, accountability, improving rural schools as community resources, and organizational and curriculum change. Seventeen policy recommendations are listed. They include: making relevant data more available to policymakers; creating financial incentives for collaborative programs and networks; reviewing regulations to encourage greater educational entrepreneurship; and creating finance formulas that are more sensitive to rural schools. This paper calls for policy innovation, suggesting conventional development will bring continued erosion of rural education and hasten the exodus of its best students. (TES)
Descriptors: Change Strategies, Economic Development, Economic Factors, Educational Change, Educational Development, Educational Economics, Educational Innovation, Educational Policy, Poverty, Rural Areas, Rural Education, Rural Schools, Rural to Urban Migration, Rural Urban Differences
Appalachia Educational Laboratory, Inc., P.O. Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325 ($4.00 prepaid).
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Appalachia Educational Lab., Charleston, WV.