ERIC Number: ED361153
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
At-Risk Children and the Reform of Rural Schools: Economic and Cultural Dimensions.
DeYoung, Alan J.
Discussions about rural children at risk of school failure require careful consideration of the economic and cultural contexts in which disadvantaged rural children live. These contexts frequently differ from those found in metropolitan areas. A literature review discusses: (1) images and realities of rural America today; (2) poverty and unemployment in rural areas; (3) poverty and rural children; (4) rural-urban differences in at-risk factors; (5) the relationship between lack of rural economic development and poor student outcomes; (6) rural-urban cultural differences and their impact on educational attitudes, particularly attitudes about the economic utility of education; and (7) school consolidation and educational reform based on urban models. A case study of Braxton County, West Virginia, and its school system illustrates these themes. Continued economic decline since the 1930s led to massive outmigration, and both factors diminished the local tax base and prompted school consolidation. In the face of prevalent at-risk factors, the school district has pursued strategies involving implementation of effective schools guidelines and development of caring school environments. However, funding for school programs and initiatives remains problematic. Inherited economic disadvantage in rural places has consequences for the present and the future. Redefining the economic base upon which depressed rural schools build their programs must have priority in any systematic effort to improve the life chances of rural at-risk students. In addition, rural schools must demonstrate their relevance to rural students and inculcate the incentives necessary to complete school. (SV)
Descriptors: Consolidated Schools, Cultural Context, Economic Factors, Educational Attitudes, Educational Strategies, Educationally Disadvantaged, Elementary School Students, Elementary Secondary Education, High Risk Students, Poverty, Relevance (Education), Rural Education, Rural Schools, Rural Urban Differences, School Community Relationship, Secondary School Students
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.; Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA.; American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, CA.; Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A