ERIC Number: ED455987
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-May
Reference Count: N/A
Education Issues in Rural Schools of America.
Harmon, Hobart L.
To have an impact on rural schools and communities, education researchers and reformers must stop approaching rural issues from an urban perspective, adopt a perspective that values rurality, and address issues specific to the rural context. Rural schools have contributed to the depletion of rural communities by focusing on individual mobility and prosperity rather than the public good. As schools have become more centralized, they have neglected their role in the life of their communities. Rural school districts usually cannot generate sufficient local resources to supplement adequately the state school finance programs the way more affluent localities can. Whether academic standards should be set by local, state, or federal entities is an issue of increasing concern. Safety and low-income student performance are enhanced in small schools, yet many rural school buildings need upgrading and access to telecommunications infrastructure. Most poor rural people are White, but rural minorities are significantly more impoverished as a percentage of the population. Changing demographics have made multicultural education issues hot topics in many rural communities. There is a shortage of rural teachers, especially in math, science, and special education, and a need for rural school leaders who can build trust in the community and incorporate community strengths into the curriculum. With regard to research, definitional inconsistencies and lack of adequate research severely limit policymakers' ability to know the effect of programs on rural schools or whether rural interests are being equitably addressed. (Contains 36 references.) (TD)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Educational Facilities Improvement, Educational Needs, Educational Research, Elementary Secondary Education, Financial Support, Poverty, Public Policy, Relevance (Education), Research Needs, Rural Development, Rural Education, Rural Urban Differences, School Community Relationship, School Size, Teacher Shortage
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Appalachian Rural Systemic Initiative Conference (Lexington, KY, May 22-23, 2001).