ERIC Number: ED342533
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar-19
Broad Policies, Local Schools: Re-Thinking Rural Education in an Age of Reform.
Lambert, Robin P.
This paper claims that broad educational policies and the"one best model" approach are not conducive to rural school improvement. It examines the problems with state policies and offers some solutions. Teacher certification has become increasingly narrow. Certification should allow for more generalist certifications, easier access to obtaining additional certifications, and sharing of specialists among schools. Curriculum problems include tracking, an emphasis on improving standardized test scores, and a standardized curriculum based on urban schools. Curriculum should be integrated, non-tracked, hands-on, and community-relevant. Teacher training tends to be biased toward urban, suburban, and affluent schools. Teacher training should offer more rural practicums and exposure to rural issues. Funding strategies based on a "head count" formula do not account for rural transportation costs and local ability to supplement state funds. Funding formulas should be weighted for sparsity and the state should provide funding for specialists it requires each school to have. Accreditation standards are generally based on what is put into a particular school, not on the quality that comes out of the school. Accreditation should be based on such qualities as leadership, high expectations, and respect. Consolidation does not account for the human and financial costs of aggregating students in rural areas. The strengths of small schools should be recognized. (KS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Reaching Our Potential: Rural Education in the 90's. Conference Proceedings, Rural Education Symposium (Nashville, TN, March 17-20, 1991); see RC 018 473.