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ERIC Number: ED372883
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Jul
Pages: 39
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Cultural Contradictions of Middle Schooling for Rural Community Survival.
DeYoung, Alan J.; And Others
During 1968-91, middle schools were the only school type to grow in number, increasing by over 400 percent. Middle school advocates focus on early adolescents' need for developmentally appropriate institutions, but show only a weak historical understanding of the emergence and status of middle schools. Critical factors in early support for the middle school movement included urban interests in countering de facto school segregation without use of busing, urban overcrowding of elementary and high schools, and a "bandwagon effect"--the desire to appear modern and reform oriented. The emergence of rural middle schools under the cloak of psychological progress can be destructive to both the declining sense of community in America, and to the actual persistence of many rural communities still organized around K-8 or K-6 public elementary schools. Examination of the National Center for Education Statistics's Common Core of Data indicates that the construction of rural middle schools has led to the closing and consolidation of rural elementary schools. During the school years 1987/88-1991/92 the proportion of schools that were middle schools increased 20 percent in rural areas, was unchanged in suburban areas, and decreased 6 percent in urban areas. At the same time, the proportion of rural schools that were K-8 declined precipitously. Emerging school reform agendas that provide alternatives to the "inevitability" of consolidation include efforts to restructure schools as caring communities (requiring active parent and community participation), and the development of rural schools as centers for integrated social services. Contains 52 references. (SV)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A