ERIC Number: ED349142
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Toward the Construction of a Federal Policy-Impact Code for Classifying the Nation's Rural School Districts. Occasional Paper No. 34.
Stephens, E. Robert
Historically, policies and funding guidelines for most federal educational programs have not adequately recognized the diverse nature 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 approach to indicator development that would include four classes of indicators: context (school and community characteristics); input (characteristics of students, staff, and fiscal input); process (school programs and services, class size, and leadership); and outcome (test scores, attendance and completion rates, and post-school outcomes such as employment). An initial literature review identified about 90 specific indicators arguably important enough for inclusion. (SV)
Descriptors: Classification, Definitions, Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Federal Government, Federal Programs, Institutional Characteristics, Policy Formation, Public Schools, Rural Schools, School Districts
Appalachia Educational Laboratory, P.O. Box 1348, Charleston, WV 25325 (free).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Appalachia Educational Lab., Charleston, WV.