ERIC Number: ED484825
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-May
Teachers and Teaching Conditions in Rural Texas: Policy Brief
Rural School and Community Trust
Over four milliion children go to public schools in Texas; of these, almost half a million (474,000) students attend school in rural areas. Thirty-six percent of rural Texas students are members of a minority group, 46% are poor, and more than 31,000 students in rural Texas do not speak English well. These are Texas-style large numbers that begin to reveal some of the challenges of ensuring that all students in Texas receive an excellent education. In a huge state like Texas, where more than 80% of the population lives in urban and suburban areas, it is easy for rural children to be neglected or discounted. It is important, therefore, to investigate the extent to which the needs of rural children are being met in Texas schools. Findings reveal significant deficiencies in offering an excellent education to rural students in Texas and in meeting their educational needs. Much of this report is focused on teachers in rural Texas. Though there are many other ingredients to successful educational reform strategies (for example, adequate facilities), research clearly reveals that effective, qualified teachers are the keystones to such efforts. Without competent teachers, all other efforts are insufficient. This portrait of rural teachers and teaching conditions in Texas reveals a number of areas of significant deficiencies for rural schools. With many high need students and lagging support, rural schools are required to do more with less. This is a disservice to rural students and staff. These deficiencies can and should be rectified. This will require thoughtful policies, and in many cases, financial support. These efforts are crucial, however the half million rural students in Texas should not be underserved or left behind.
Descriptors: Minority Groups, Educational Needs, Teaching Conditions, Rural Areas, Rural Education, Limited English Speaking, Rural Schools
Rural School and Community Trust 1530 Wilson Blvd., Suite 240 Arlington, VA 22209. Tel: 703-243-1487 Fax: (703) 243-6035 www.ruraledu.org
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: Rural School and Community Trust, Washington, DC.