ERIC Number: ED444810
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
An Agenda for Studying Rural School Busing.
Howley, Craig B.; Smith, Charles R.
Researchers and other persons interested in promoting research about rural school busing met in Columbus, Ohio, in December 1998. Drawing on that meeting and the rural school literature, this report describes why school transportation is an important issue nationwide, explains the lack of research on rural school busing, proposes a research agenda, and recommends ways to use the agenda to foster research on the topic. School busing is relevant to nearly all school districts because of its theoretical relationship to the generic culture of U.S. schooling and its practical (but unknown) impacts on family life and school participation and on student achievement. A discussion of 20th-century school consolidation and professionalization trends and of the dominant, functionalist framework for educational research suggests that the functionalist tradition privileges some topics of research over others. In particular, the concerns of rural families and communities about busing, often raised in protest to long bus rides and rural school closures, were in opposition to prevailing views of professionals and functionalist researchers and, therefore, unlikely to provoke much research interest. A research agenda is outlined in detail. Its categories (all in relation to rural school busing) are history, politics, spatial distribution of schools, consolidation, social and cultural circumstances, outcomes or correlates of schooling, children's health and safety, finance, and alternatives to current circumstances. Appendices include "Long Rides, Tough Hides: Enduring Long School Bus Rides" (Belle Zars) and background on the collaboration between AEL and the Rural School and Community Trust Policy Program. (Contains 40 references.) (SV)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: AEL, Inc., Charleston, WV.