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ERIC Number: EJ1063094
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
School Reform for Rural America
Fishman, Dan
Education Next, v15 n3 p8-15 Sum 2015
Overall, one in four rural children live in poverty, and of the 50 U.S. counties with the highest child-poverty rates, 48 are rural. Drug usage abounds. In the mid-2000s, rural 8th graders were 59 percent more likely than peers in large cities to use methamphetamines and 104 percent more likely to use any amphetamine, according to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. Tragically, mental health issues complicate the process of educating rural students. Individuals between 10 and 24 years of age living in rural areas are twice as likely to kill themselves as their urban peers. This may be symptomatic of the persistence of serious depression in rural America, which occurs nearly 20 percent more frequently than in urban areas. Figure 2 shows that the achievement of rural students on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) gets worse the farther from a population center they live. Such complex and socially entrenched ills require a proportionate educational response. Large swatches of rural America are struggling to educate children effectively, develop strong economic engines, and preserve communities. An education system that is lackluster in urban America is perhaps even more so in rural areas. Dan Fishman argues here that the present system fails both to educate students for college and to prepare them for post-high school careers that allow for individual flourishing without draining out a community's highest achievers. Under the current education system, it is not surprising that so many ambitious, talented individuals leave their hometowns in order to seek more engaging and remunerative job opportunities. Fishman argues that this need not continue to be the case. Political, philanthropic, and education leaders should focus on creating the policy conditions, supporting the entrepreneurs, and more fully integrating the industry opportunities that can best address rural education improvement. Changes to public funding schemes, policies, and economic incentives could encourage more initiatives that match educational opportunity to rural economic vitality.
Hoover Institution. Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Tel: 800-935-2882; Fax: 650-723-8626; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A