Publications


Why Rural Matters 2015-2016 Capitol Hill briefing to be held April 3, 2017

Why Rural Matters 2015-2016 is the eighth in a series of biennial reports analyzing the contexts and conditions of rural education in each of the 50 states and calling attention to the need for policymakers to address rural education issues in their respective states.


Rural Trust Releases Why Rural Matters 2013-14

Why Rural Matters 2013-14Why Rural Matters 2013-14 is the seventh in a series of biennial reports analyzing the contexts and conditions of rural education in each of the 50 states and calling attention to the need for policymakers to address rural education issues in their respective states.
Date: June 24, 2014
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New Reports Address Important Issues for Student and Community Well-Being

Recent reports highlight key issues for improving outcomes for students, especially those in economically challenged communities.


Rural Trust Special Report on School Violence

Violence in U.S. Schools, 1975-2013This report updates the March special edition of RPM and includes information on violent incidents, updated graphics, and policy recommendations.


Rural Policy Matters: May 2013

Rural Policy Matters: May 2013The May 2013 issue of Rural Policy Matters includes the release of “Violence in U.S. K–12 Schools,” a Rural Trust special report; Why Policy Matters: Legal Interventions, the fourth in our series on the importance of policy advocacy; a story on the 2013 rural winner of a Leonore Annenberg College Scholarship and a story announcing the elementary school recipients of awards from the Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children. Rural School Funding News covers a variety of important developments in school privatization efforts as well as finance lawsuits and state budget fights. There’s also important School Discipline News and a graph.
Date: May 30, 2013
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Rural Policy Matters: April 2013

Rural Policy Matters: April 2013The April 2013 issue of Rural Policy Matters features a stories about a place-based youth leadership initiative in Glouster, Ohio; how sequestration will affect rural schools; the 2014 White House education budget; selection of the 2013 Global Teacher Fellows; School Discipline News; Rural School Funding News; and a graph.
Date: April 16, 2013
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Why Rural Matters 2011-12: Statistical Indicators of the Condition of Rural Education in the 50 States

WhyRural Matters 2011-12Why Rural Matters 2011–12 is the sixth in a series of biennial reports analyzing the contexts and conditions of rural education in each of the 50 states and calling attention to the need for policymakers to address rural education issues in their respective states.


Why Rural Matters 2011-12 Press Release

Nearly one in four American children attend rural schools and enrollment is growing at a faster rate in rural school districts than in all other places combined, according to Why Rural Matters 2011–12, a biennial report by the Rural School and Community Trust.


Early Childhood Education in Rural Communities

Early Childhood Education in Rural CommunitiesThe Rural Trust's Doris Terry Williams and UNCF's Tammy L. Mann edited this monograph on the current status of early childhood education in rural communities.


The Influence of Teachers: Reflections on Teaching and Leadership

The Influence of Teachers: Reflections on Teaching and LeadershipIn this urgent and insightful book, John Merrow draws on his experience as a reporter for PBS and NPR to examine this question and others, and offer possibilities and solutions for a new education system.


Rural Policy Matters: April 2011

Rural Policy Matters: April 2011The April 2011 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes stories about the parallels between recent urban school consolidation proposals and consolidation initiatives in rural areas; a report on a recent court decision that will affect the ability of states to provide tax credits to cover costs of private education, among other things; an update on the Formula Fairness Campaign; the latest installment in our series on school finance, this time addressing teacher compensation; Rural School Funding News, and a graph showing the number of schools in rural, town, city, and suburban locations.
Date: April 27, 2011
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Rural Policy Matters: March 2011

Rural Policy Matters: March 2011The March 2011 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes a story about the North Carolina Rural Education Working Group’s conference that addressed disciplinary policies among other topics; a new series on teacher compensation; coverage of the latest webinar in the Rural Schools Innovations Webinar series; an update on the Formula Fairness Campaign; the latest installment in our series on school finance, this time addressing teacher compensation; Rural School Funding News, and a graph showing the rise in the rates of students participating in free and reduced lunch programs, and more.
Date: March 30, 2011
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Rural Policy Matters: February 2011

Rural Policy Matters: February 2011The February 2011 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes articles about a new report on school consolidation, an initiative to change Highly Qualified Teacher rules; Discipline rulings that affect schools; Categorical Weighting in school finance formulas; an article by Marty Strange; Rural School Funding News, and more.
Date: February 28, 2011
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The Rural Solution: How Community Schools Can Reinvigorate Rural Education

Doris Terry Williams, executive director of the Rural School and Community Trust and director of the Trust's Capacity Building Program, explains the value of full-service community schools in rural areas in this report from the Center for American Progress.


Research Raises Doubts About Benefits of Consolidation

Has the time for consolidation come and gone? Research shows that state policies that broadly push mergers of schools and districts will not save money and will likely lower the quality of education — especially for the poor.


Taking Advantage: The Rural Competitive Preference in the Investing in Innovation Program

Taking Advantage: The Rural Competitive Preference in the Investing in Innovation ProgramThis Rural Trust report analyzes the impact of the rural competitive preference in the first round of i3 grants issued by the U.S. Department of Education. The analysis considers whether the rural claim was well-made by the applicants and well-evaluated by the readers. In short, the federal grant program did little to attract authentically rural innovations to address the challenges of high-needs rural schools.


Rural Policy Matters: January 2011

Rural Policy Matters: January 2011The January 2011 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes articles about "Taking Advantage," a Rural Trust report on rural innovation in the i3 program; Rural Trust Policy Director Marty Strange briefs Congress on i3; homelessness counts underway; Formula Fairness Campaign grows; Equity and Adequacy in School Funding; Rural School Funding News, Teacher Salaries in Rural Schools, and more.
Date: January 25, 2011
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Rural Policy Matters: December 2010

Rural Policy Matters: December 2010The December 2010 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes articles about new co-sponsors of the Formula Fairness Campaign, a letter from senators about i3 fairness for rural districts, what makes people form attachments to their communities, the importance of revenue systems to school finance, Rural School Funding News, and more.
Date: December 22, 2010
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Rural Policy Matters: November 2010

Rural Policy Matters: November 2010The November 2010 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes articles about the 2010 Congressional election results; an analysis of how programs awarded “rural preference” points in the Investing in Innovation competitive grant program are proposing to work in rural districts; School Discipline, Rural School Funding News, and more.
Date: November 30, 2010
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Rural Policy Matters: October 2010

Rural Policy Matters: October 2010The October 2010 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes articles about how the Investing in Innovation (i3) competitive grant program is doing little to reach high-poverty rural schools; why poverty rates for young children are significantly higher in rural areas than in central cities — and that rural black children face poverty rates approaching 50%; School Discipline, Consolidation Watch, Rural School Funding News, and more.
Date: October 27, 2010
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Rural Policy Matters: September 2010

Rural Policy Matters: September 2010The September 2010 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes articles about a small community trying to find ways for local residents to reconnect to their own cultural inheritance and to each other in the face of economic hardship, a monolithic corporate presence, disaster, and international energy demands; why high-poverty rural districts won’t see much of the $4 billion in Race to the Top grants to states; why the mid-term elections are an important time to tell both incumbents and challengers that Title I funding needs to be fixed; and more


Rural Policy Matters: August 2010

Rural Policy Matters: August 2010The August 2010 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes articles about a school-wide comprehensive literacy program that's making a difference in a rural school district; number weighting in Title I funding hurts rural districts headed by African-American superintendents; a coalition of civil rights organizations has issued a compelling document outlining new federal strategies to ensure that all students have substantive and fair opportunities to learn; Rural School Funding News, and more…
Date: August 26, 2010
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Rural Policy Matters: July 2010

Rural Policy Matters: July 2010The July 2010 edition of Rural Policy Matters includes articles on a West Virginia community that has fought for decades to keep its K-12 schools; rural education advocacy groups that are working to bring fairness to Title I funding formulas; how some low-income rural schools are making good use of a federal formula grant; and more.
Date: July 24, 2010
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Rural Policy Matters: June 2010

Rural Policy Matters: June 2010The June 2010 edition of RPM includes articles sharing how you can grow your grassroots advocacy efforts; options for fixing inequities in the Title I formulas; the challenge of competitive grants for rural schools; consolidation threats in several states; characteristics of strong school finance systems; Rural School Finance News, and more…
Date: June 28, 2010
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Rural Policy Matters: May 2010

Rural Policy Matters: May 2010The May 2010 edition of RPM includes articles about how several small Arkansas communities have made remarkable progress in their efforts at revitalization through a partnership with the Rural Community Alliance; a rural perspective on an important case in which Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan was involved; a call for transparency in Mississippi; and more…
Date: May 27, 2010
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The Rural Dropout Problem: An Invisible Achievement Gap

This report reviews high school dropout rates and related factors in rural high schools throughout 15 Southern and Southwestern states. These schools are in districts that are among the 800 rural districts with the highest student poverty rate nationally. Seventy-seven percent of the "Rural 800" districts and 87 percent of the students in them are in these fifteen targeted states.


Rural Policy Matters: April 2010

Rural Policy Matters: April 2010The April 2010 edition of RPM includes a story on how the Children’s Defense Fund is making the case for fixing the Title I funding formulas; how two recent Rural Trust analyses find that the negative effects of poverty on student test scores is reduced in Mississippi's small school districts and that districts ranking highly in the state’s accountability system are no better at closing achievement gaps that lower rated districts; and Financing Rural Schools, a new series that looks at what it takes to have a good system for making sure rural schools get the resources they need; and more ...
Date: April 29, 2010
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Rural Policy Matters: March 2010

Rural Policy Matters: March 2010This edition of RPM includes an update on the Formula Fairness Campaign; an RPM analysis of the Blueprint for Reform; a comparison of Title I funding in Chicago and elsewhere; Rural School Funding News; and more…
Date: March 27, 2010
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Rural Policy Matters: February 2010

Rural Policy Matters: January 2010 This edition of RPM includes a story on how one rural North Carolina county is using its federal Title I funding to bring technology equity to its students — and local residents; Rural Trust launches a campaign for fairness in Title I funding; Title I funding issues gain attention; state advocates address a variety of issues affecting rural schools; Rural School Funding News; and more.
Date: February 26, 2010
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Rural Policy Matters: January 2010

Rural Policy Matters: January 2010
This edition of RPM includes a set of stories related to school consolidation initiatives and state responses: a West Virginia legislative study ties higher dropout rates to large districts and schools; Mississippi’s governor wants to eliminate many districts without examining research evidence; and two rural Arkansas districts are seeking an innovative response to that state’s minimum enrollment law. There’s important analysis of the devastating effects on high poverty districts of changes to the Title I formula; South Carolina ramps up efforts to recruit teachers; Rural Trust loses a good friend; Rural School Funding News; and more…


Rural Policy Matters: December 2009

Rural Policy Matters: December 2009
This edition of RPM includes a Review of Changes to the Race to the Stop Guidelines and now they are likely to affect rural schools; a new analysis of the effects of Title I number weighting that demonstrates how low poverty districts benefit at the expense of high poverty districts; an examination of interpretation of Race to the Top criteria; analysis of graduation rates in rural high poverty rural districts in the southwest and southeast; highlights of state policy developments in Arkansan, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee, Rural School Funding News, and more….


Rural Policy Matters: November 2009

Rural Policy Matters: November 2009
This issue of RPM includes an overview of Why Rural Matters (WRM), an interview with WRM co-author Jerry Johnson, more information about Title I inequities, a Title I Fairness Campaign, a map of the poorest 900 rural school districts, news from the Maine consolidation vote, RSFN, and more….
Date: November 30, 2009
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Why Rural Matters 2009: State and Regional Challenges and Opportunities

Why Rural Matters 2009Why Rural Matters 2009 is the fifth in a series of biennial reports analyzing the contexts and conditions of rural education in each of the 50 states and calling attention to the need for policymakers to address rural education issues in their respective states.


Rural Policy Matters: October 2009

Rural Policy Matters: October 2009
This issue of RPM includes an update on the fight to retain local governance of rural districts in Maine, an explanation of Title I funding disparities that hurt poor students in smaller districts, and information about a useful guide on working with ELL students, as well as Rural School Funding News and more...


Rural Policy Matters: September 2009

Rural Policy Matters: September 2009
This issue of RPM features articles on how members of the North Carolina Rural Education Working Group put some tough questions to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan about education in rural areas, a sneak preview of Why Rural Matters 2009, an appeal filed in the Arkansas Supreme Court on how long students may ride a school bus. Plus, Policy Program Director Marty Strange looks at some of the issues in the charter guidelines for Race to the Top funding…


Rural Policy Matters: August 2009

Rural Policy Matters: August 2009
This issue of RPM features articles on the poorest 900 rural school districts, an essay on the diversity of rural schools and realities of the toughest places, a report from a group working to address the school disciplinary and pushout crises, and of course Rural School Funding News and a graph of important school information…
Date: August 24, 2009
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Rural Policy Matters: July 2009

Rural Policy Matters: July 2009
The July 2009 Rural Policy Matters features "Searching for Hamlet: To be or not to be for rural education," a commentary by Marty Strange and Robin Lambert; and a report on a White House gathering of representatives of a number of rural education organizations identified key issues affecting rural schools and suggested policy initiatives…


Rural Policy Matters: June 2009

Rural Policy Matters: June 2009This Rural School Finance edition explores some of the ways rural citizens around the country are advocating for rural students as state legislatures make historic budget decisions. Rural North Carolina residents work to preserve programs and classroom teachers; a significant program for low-wealth districts in Washington state escapes the axe; South Carolina's governor is ordered to accept stimulus funding; rural student's work continues to draw attention and resources to her school…


Rural Policy Matters: May 2009

Rural Policy Matters: May 2009
The May 2009 Rural Policy Matters includes highlights from the April 2009 Rural Education Working Group conference. Also, read about the new degree program in Rural Studies at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia.
Date: May 28, 2009
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Rural Policy Matters: April 2009

Rural Policy Matters: April 2009
In the April 2009 Rural Policy Matters, find out how a recent analysis of Title I funding by the Rural Trust finds that two of the four formulas that are used to provide extra funding for poor students provide much more federal funding per eligible student to some districts than to others with similar or higher poverty rates. Also, read about how a lack of sleep is linked to poorer academic performance and behavior — and how this affects rural students who have long bus rides.


Many Children Left Behind

Many Children Left BehindMany Children Left Behind presents analysis of the distribution of Title I funds in Pennsylvania showing the unintended consequences of these weighting systems. A very few large districts benefit from the weighting systems, but most districts of all sizes with high percentages of eligible students get far less money per eligible student.


Rural Policy Matters: March 2009

Rural Policy Matters: March 2009In the March 2009 Rural Policy Matters, Rural Trust President Rachel Tompkins helps put the letter of a South Carolina teen in national perspective. Also, find out how communities pulled together in South Carolina to stop the closure of their schools, and why poorer smaller districts are losing out in the economic stimulus plan.
Date: April 04, 2009
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Rural Policy Matters: February 2009

Rural Policy Matters: February 2009The February 2009 Rural Policy Matters includes the articles Arkansas Communities Forge Revitalization Process, A New School Funding Formula Proposed in New Mexico, and Maine Consolidation Fight Twists Again.
 
Date: March 17, 2009
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Why Rural Matters 2007: The Realities of Rural Education Growth

Why Rural Matters 2007Why Rural Matters 2007 is the fourth in a series of biennial reports analyzing the importance of rural education in each of the 50 states and calling attention to the urgency for policymakers in each state to address rural education issues.


Pennsylvania School Funding Formula Report

Pennsylvania School Funding ReportPennsylvania has enacted substantial changes in its school funding formula, including a factor that adjusts a district's state aid based on estimates of the relative cost of hiring teachers in that particular district compared to the cost of hiring equally qualified teachers in other districts.


Rural School and Community Trust 2008 Annual Report

The projects and programs featured in our 2008 Annual Report represent the scope of our work aimed at fulfilling that mission. This report also includes a list of our board of directors, key staff, and financial statements for 2008.



An Analysis of the Impacts of the AIR Funding Formula Proposal on New Mexico School Districts

Impacts of the AIR Funding Formula Proposal on New Mexico School DistrictsAn Analysis of the Impacts of the AIR Funding Formula Proposal on New Mexico School Districts, a report of the Rural School and Community Trust and the Ben Lujan Leadership and Public Policy Institute, presents findings from an investigation of the impact of the funding formula proposal commissioned by the New Mexico Funding Formula Task Force (FFTF) and developed by American Institutes of Research (AIR).


Rural Policy Matters: January 2009

Rural Policy Matters: January 2009Across the country disturbing patterns are emerging in the ways schools deal with students on disciplinary issues. The January 2009 edition of RPM takes an in-depth look at some of these issues with emphasis on how communities can get involved to ensure that all students have the best educational opportunities in school environments that are safe and supportive.
Date: January 03, 2009
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Help Shape the National Rural Education Policy Agenda

Lend your perspective on important policy issues affecting rural schools, students, and communities…


Rural Policy Matters: December 2008

Rural Policy Matters: December 2008The December 2008 Rural Policy Matters includes features on how rural Bertie County, North Carolina, has launched an ambitious grow-your-own teacher program that aims to transform the district, and an analysis of the 2008 presidential vote in rural areas, with some thoughts for the president-elect...
Date: December 04, 2008
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Giving with One Hand, Taking Away with the Other

Schools in Pennsylvania now get state funding based, in part, on a "location cost metric" and the results aren't pretty for many rural schools...


Rural Policy Matters: November 2008

Rural Policy Matters November 2008The November 2008 Rural Policy Matters included the articles "A Win for Everyone: Arkansas’s Teacher Housing Incentives Help Schools Keep Teachers, Help Teachers Grow Investments, and Help Communities Build Wealth"; "Maine's Struggle with Consolidation Law Continues"; and information about changes to Pennsylvania's school funding formula.
Date: November 06, 2008
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Rural Policy Matters: October 2008

Rural Policy Matters October 2008The October 2008 Rural Policy Matters included the feature articles "Student Loan Forgiveness Options for Teachers and Schools," which discussed how Federal student loan forgiveness programs can help schools, especially low-income schools, recruit teachers; and "Missouri's Ozarks Schools Suffer Funding Disparity," which reports on how rural schools in the mountains of Missouri have less money per student than other schools in the state.
Date: October 10, 2008
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Rural Policy Matters: September 2008

Rural Policy Matters: September 2008The September 2008 Rural Policy Matters included the feature articles "Bringing Technology to Rural Georgia," "Untangling the Fuel Budget Mess," and "Working Together to Stay Small, Get More Efficient," which describes how the Western Maine Educational Collaborative is reducing the operating costs of small schools -- not by making them big through consolidation, but by inter-local cooperation among small schools and districts.
Date: September 01, 2008
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Rural Policy Matters: August 2008

Rural Policy Matters: August 2008The August 2008 Rural Policy Matters included feature articles on the National Rural Education Policy Agenda Committee, a critique on a report from the Alliance for Excellent Education on the economic impact of high-school dropouts, and review of proceedings at the June 2008 Second Annual National Rural Assembly in Washington, DC.
Date: August 01, 2008
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Rural Policy Matters: July 2008

Rural Policy Matters: July 2008 The July 2008 Rural Policy Matters included feature articles on the May 2008 Rural Education Working Group Conference, the launching of the National Rural Education Policy Agenda (NREPA), and "Geographical Price Adjustments: Sending Money to the Wealthiest," an analysis of Pennsylvania's proposed new funding system for schools.


Rural Policy Matters: June 2008

Rural Policy Matters: June 2008The June 2008 Rural Policy Matters included the articles "The Best Teacher I Ever Saw," with comments from kindergarten, first, and second grade students at Greenfield School in Teton County, Montana; "Elected, Appointed, Partisan? It All Matters: The Structures of State Education Governance," which describes the lack of consistency among states in how they select public officials for top education jobs; and "Getting Organized in Your Community and State," with tips from Challenge West Virginia.


From Talk to Action: Warren County's Community Action Plan

From Talk to ActionFrom Talk to Action is a report on Warren County, North Carolina's action plan to ensure that all of its children and youth succeed and thrive.


Rural Policy Matters: May 2008

Rural Policy Matters: May 2008The May 2008 Rural Policy Matters included the feature articles "Working to Keep Kids in School," which described how one rural county in North Carolina is addressing the alarming rate of student suspensions; "Nebraska Shifts Funding From Rural to Urban Districts;" and "High-Poverty Rural Districts in Kentucky Lose Share of Title I Funding."


Rural Policy Matters: April 2008

Rural Policy Matters: April 2008The April 2008 Rural Policy Matters included articles on the Rural Trust's Rural School Innovation Network, a new project of the Rural Trust that brings together rural schools and districts in a mutual partnership to improve rural education; "Kansas Debates Cutting Funds for High-Poverty Rural Districts;" "Eastern Kentucky University Establishes Education Doctorate with Rural Focus;" and "West Virginia Limits Elementary Bus Rides."
Date: April 01, 2008
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Rural School and Community Trust 2007 Annual Report

The Rural School and Community Trust's 2007 Annual Report provides a summary of the organization's programs, achievements, and goals.


Rural Policy Matters: March 2008

Rural Policy Matters: March 2008The March 2008 Rural Policy Matters included a feature article on Linda Martin, who retired from Challenge West Virginia after years of "Building Capacity in Community." Also, "School Levies Face Challenges" discusses questions about the role of local voters in school budgets in light of the Fall 2008 school levy votes, and "Maine Group Continues to Collect Signatures" reports on the Maine Coalition to Save Schools' plan to continue collecting signatures to repeal a 2007 law mandating the consolidation of most of the state's school districts.
Date: March 01, 2008
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Rural Policy Matters: February 2008

Rural Policy Matters: February 2008In the February 2008 Rural Policy Matters, Rural Trust President Rachel Tompkins writes about the complexity of rural education in "Rural Schools: Growing, Diverse, and... Complicated." This piece first appeared as a "back page" editorial in the national publication, Education Week, on January 16, 2008. Also, a critical analysis of nationally significant school funding issues in Georgia is the focus of "School Funding in Turmoil in Georgia," where radical proposals in the legislature could cripple school funding and citizen participation in education policymaking.


Rural Policy Matters: January 2008

Rural Policy Matters: January 2008The January 2008 Rural Policy Matters included the feature articles "Students of Color Comprise Majority in High Poverty Rural Districts;" "Building Community Connections for the Success of All Children," which looks at the efforts of hundreds of community residents in five rural eastern North Carolina counties that are working together to plan and implement their ideas in their communities; and "Fewer Students Leave Small Alabama High Schools Before Graduation."
Date: January 01, 2008
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Why Rural Matters 2007: Gauge and Indicator Results

Gauge and Indicator Results from Why Rural Matters 2007, including six focus areas: Importance, Socioeconomic Challenges, Student Diversity, Policy Context, Outcomes, and Rural Education Priority.


Why Rural Matters 2007: Major Findings

Major findings from Why Rural Matters 2007: The Realities of Rural Education Growth.


Why Rural Matters 2007: Press Room

Media links and information for Why Rural Matters 2007: The Realities of Rural Education Growth.


Why Rural Matters 2007: Print Edition

Why Rural Matters 2007: Print EditionWhy Rural Matters 2007: The Realities of Rural Education Growth is a snapshot of rural education that provides essential information on the condition of rural education in the 50 states and uncovers new trends and challenges facing rural educators.


Quality Teachers: Issues, Challenges, and Solutions for North Carolina's Most Overlooked Rural Communities

Quality Teachers: Issues, Challenges, and Solutions for North Carolina's Rural Communities"Quality Teachers: Issues, Challenges, and Solutions for North Carolina's Most Overlooked Rural Communities describes the challenges facing low-wealth rural school districts in eastern North Carolina as they relate to issues of teacher quality and summarizes the rural-specific strategies going on around the country to respond to these challenges. The report also covers how North Carolina is doing in each strategy, and provides additional recommendations based on the specific circumstances in North Carolina that would help address the pressing issue of providing all children in North Carolina the teachers they deserve. "


Title I Weighted Grants Skewed Toward Largest Districts: Per Pupil Funding Varies Sharply by District Size

Title I Weighted GrantsSince 2002, some of the federal funds provided to local school districts under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act have been distributed through weighted grant formulas intended to better target funding to districts with the highest concentrations of poverty. While a worthy goal, these formulas actually skew funds toward larger districts and place a greater value on the education of a Title I student in a large district than on the education of a Title I student in a smaller district — even when these districts have the same poverty rate.


Riding to School in Slow Motion

Riding to School in Slow MotionStudents who attend consolidated rural high schools face longer bus rides and are less likely to participate in extra-curricular activities because of the challenge of transportation. This is one finding in Slow Motion: Traveling by School Bus in Consolidated Districts in West Virginia. Survey results show that high school students who ride the bus and attend consolidated high schools lose an average of 49 minutes each day, compared to students who have other forms of transportation in those same districts. Though the report focuses specifically on consolidation outcomes in West Virginia, the lessons learned are a warning to any state that has pursued or is considering pursuing consolidation as an education policy.


Rural Policy Matters: December 2006

Rural Policy Matters: December 2006The December 2006 Rural Policy Matters included the feature articles "Bias Against Small Districts in Title I Formula is 'Systematic,'” which explored the impact of Title I formulas across Texas districts; "Rural Advocate Uncovers Privatization Ploy," a report on a South Carolina tuition tax credit proposal that would for private school vouchers; and "The Rural Trust on NCLB--Thoughts About Trying to Improve a Flawed Law," a Rural Trust a position paper outlining recommendations for the reauthorization of NCLB.
Date: December 01, 2006
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The Hobbit Effect: Why Small Works in Public Schools

The Hobbit Effect: Why Small Works in Public SchoolsWhile numerous studies have documented that small schools effectively boost student achievement, especially among at-risk students, our report, The Hobbit Effect: Why Small Works in Public Schools summarizes the vast research literature that explains just why small works in schooling, identifying ten research-based attributes of small schools that are proven to have a positive impact on kids and their learning.


Why Small Schools Work: Ten Reasons Small Schools Positively Impact Students and their Learning

While numerous studies have documented that small schools effectively boost student achievement, especially among at-risk students, a new report now summarizes the vast research literature that explains just why small works in schooling.


An Investigation of School Closures Resulting from Forced District Reorganization in Arkansas

An Investigation of School Closures Resulting from Forced District Reorganization in ArkansasSome policymakers and other advocates of reorganizing Arkansas' public education system have insisted that the minimum district size requirements included in Act 60 and the district closings authorized under the Omnibus Education Act are aimed at closing school districts only, for the sake of "administrative" efficiency. They argue that the forced reorganization of districts is not intended to close schools. Some tease the issue a bit, adding that at the very least it doesn't have to happen, and in their view, probably will not happen. This analysis of the ways that reorganization has played out over the past two years strongly suggests otherwise.


Rural Policy Matters: April 2006

Rural Policy Matters: April 2006 This issue of Rural Policy Matters (RPM) explores school-community partnerships that are helping rural students and communities thrive, with examples from six communities: Rappahannock County, Virginia; East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana; Wakefield, Nebraska; Worth County, Missouri; Elgin, Nebraska; and Ojai, California.
Date: April 01, 2006
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Compounding Challenges: Student Achievement and the Distribution of Human and Fiscal Resources in Oregon's Rural School Districts

Compounding ChallengesThis report presents findings from an investigation into relationships between academic achievement and the distribution of fiscal resources among rural school districts in Oregon. The investigation was prompted by earlier-reported findings suggesting the critical nature of both achievement gaps and resource gaps among rural school districts in the state. A variety of statistical procedures yielded consistent findings indicating that there is considerable disparity in the distribution of fiscal resources among rural districts, and that the level of fiscal resources available to districts significantly influences educational outcomes.


More Doesn't Mean Better: Larger High Schools and More Courses Do Not Boost Student Achievement in Iowa High Schools

More Doesn't Mean BetterSmall school districts are an "achievement blessing" in Iowa, according to More Doesn't Mean Better. In Iowa, consolidation proponents contend that small schools in small districts cannot offer a sufficiently broad curriculum, and that offering more courses would lead to higher achievement levels. This study finds just the opposite: Bigger schools and broader curriculum do not boost student achievement. In fact, smaller districts with fewer course offerings and higher poverty produced a slightly higher—but not statistically significant—percentage of students who scored "proficient" on state achievement tests than larger districts.


Breaking the Fall: Cushioning the Impact of Rural Declining Enrollment

Breaking the FallFor those rural schools and communities across the country facing declining student enrollment, there are no easy answers. But there are steps policymakers and communities can take to help cushion the negative impact of declining enrollment on schools to ensure that "no child left behind" also means "no place left behind." This report details 20 policies that provide students in communities experiencing declining enrollment with a high quality education and also buy time for communities to rebound, improve, or adjust to changes in population and revenue.


Rural School and Community Trust 2005 Annual Report

Learn the details of our key strategies in fulfilling our mission, along with our list of board of directors, key staff, and financial statements for 2005.


Student Achievement and the Distribution of Human and Financial Resources in Mississippi School Districts

Student Achievement and the Distribution of Human and Financial Resources in Mississippi School DistrictsThis report suggests that the distribution of both school funding and qualified teachers are primary forces behind Mississippi's achievement gaps. It finds that districts with students facing the most severe challenges to high academic achievement are also the districts that have the most limited resources with which to address those challenges. Conversely, districts with students facing the fewest challenges are also the ones with the most resources.


Providing Rural Students with a High Quality Education

Providing Rural Students with a High Quality EducationThis report outlines the specifics of what the rural perspective on educational adequacy entails for policymakers, education leaders, and school finance advocates. While the report embraces the thinking behind education adequacy, it urges researchers and school funding reform advocates to begin using the phrase "high quality education," because it more aptly describes quality schooling and it will resonate better with rural people and the broader public.


A Year of Civics in Action: 2004-2005

A Year of Civics in Action: 2004-2005The 2004-2005 report on the progress of the first year of the Rural Civic Engagement Initiative. Includes review of activities in Ohio, South Carolina, Vermont, Wisconsin.


The Impact of Arkansas' Act 60 on African-American School Leadership and Racial Composition of School Districts

The Impact of Arkansas' Act 60This report examines the impact of Arkansas' Act 60 (2004) on the racial composition of the student population, elected school boards, and administrative leadership of 27 districts affected by consolidations involving one or more districts with an African-American majority.


Why Rural Matters 2005: The Facts About Rural Education in the 50 States

Why Rural Matters 2005Why Rural Matters 2005 is the third in a series of reports analyzing the importance of rural education in each of the 50 states and calling attention to the urgency with which policymakers in each state should address the problems of rural education.


Why Rural Matters 2005: News Conference Transcript

This transcript of the virtual news conference for Why Rural Matters 2005 features Rachel Tompkins, Ed.D., President, Rural School and Community Trust; Jerry Johnson, Ed.D., State and Regional Policy Studies Manager; and Marty Strange, Director of Policy Programs at the Rural Trust.


Why Rural Matters 2005: Print Edition

Why Rural Matters 2005: Print EditionWhy Rural Matters 2005 is the third in a series of reports analyzing the importance of rural education in each of the 50 states and calling attention to the urgency with which policymakers in each state should address the problems of rural education.


The Role of Education: Promoting the Economic and Social Vitality of Rural America

The Role of EducationThis special report issued in partnership with the USDA Economic Research Service and the Rural Trust explores the connections between rural education and local community well-being. The report includes three sections: Education, Human Capital, and the Local Economy; Links between Rural Schools and Communities; and Creating Successful Rural Schools and Students. Each section includes several articles and provides descriptive information, research data, and examples of promising programs.


Rural School and Community Trust 2004 Annual Report

The mission of the Rural School and Community Trust is to help rural schools and communities get better together.


Good Rural High School Case Study: Sicily Island High School, Sicily Island, Louisiana

Siciliy Island HIgh SchoolThis case study of Siciliy Island High School, Sicily Island, Louisiana using the Good Rural High School assessment rubric developed by the Rural School and Community Trust reveals a rural high school that is yielding results.


Best Fiscal Management Practices for Rural Schools

Best Fiscal Management Practices for Rural SchoolsThis report highlights some of the leading policy issues faced by education stakeholders and presents rural-specific strategies to ensure both sound fiscal management practices and a high quality education for all students. To complement the report, the Rural Trust offers a workshop that can be tailored to both meet the needs of various constituencies and be responsive to context and need.


Making Bricks Without Straw: An Analysis of Achievement Patterns and Fiscal Inequity an Inadequacy in Nebraska School System

Making Bricks without StrawNebraska school systems with the lowest test scores serve more students who face socio-economic barriers to academic achievement than do other Nebraska schools, but have to do it with less money, according to this analysis.


The Promise and the Power of Distance Learning in Rural Education

Distance Learning in Rural EducationDistance learning is here to stay. Its future appears to be unsure only in its direction or extent of growth. This paper focuses on the applicability and potential of two-way interactive television (I-TV) for small and rural K-12 schools as a primary asset in improving educational access and equity and calls for the adoption of enlightened distance learning policies and guidelines at the state and local levels. Appendices include: (1) Characteristics of Major Distance Learning Technologies; (2) Types of Distance Learning Technologies; and (3) a Categorization of State Videoconferencing Policies. The Appendices are followed by a glossary of technical terms and list of references.


Letters to the Next President: What We Can Do About the Real Crisis in Public Education

Letters to the Next PresidentIn the 2004 publication Letters to the Next President, more than 30 education experts, elected officials, practitioners, students, community leaders, and parents wrote to our next president, offering suggestions on improving critical problems in public education such as equitable funding resources and saving small schools.


Good Rural High School Case Study: Shaw High School, Shaw, Mississippi

Shaw High SchoolThis case study of Shaw High School, Shaw, Mississippi using the Good Rural High School assessment rubric developed by the Rural School and Community Trust provides an exemplar study in rural high school improvement.


Rural School Facilities: State Policies that Provide Students with an Environment to Promote Learning

Rural School FacilitiesEven though states nationwide spend $30 billion annually on school facilities, rural schools are frequently ignored, neglected, or under-funded--a condition that negatively impacts student learning, according to this policy report from the Rural Trust. The report chronicles the challenges faced by rural school districts to build and maintain quality schools and offers policy options for fair and effective state school facilities programs.


Teachers and Teaching Conditions in Rural Texas

Teachers and Teaching Conditions in Rural TexasThis report reveals a number of areas of significant deficiencies as it examines the characteristics of the teaching environment and the teacher corps in rural Texas schools--where almost half a million students go to school each day.


Teachers and Teaching Conditions in Rural New Mexico

Teachers and Teaching Conditions in Rural New MexicoThis report identifies 10 areas that present potential challenges for rural schools and the diverse populations in rural schools in New Mexico: 1. Challenges Related to Demographics; 2. Student Discipline Concerns; 3. Teacher Qualifications; 4. Ethnicity of Educators Compared to Students; 5. Principals' Salary; 6. Staffing Patterns; 7. Class Size; 8. Teacher Shortages and Unfilled Vacancies; 9. Professional Development and Perceived Usefulness; and 10. Incentives for Professional Development.


Beating the Odds: High Performing, Small High Schools in the Rural South

Beating the OddsThis policy paper offers insights and policy recommendations from studying high-poverty, but also high-performing, rural, southern schools that will change perceptions of what is possible in small, low-wealth rural settings. The report focuses on findings from five rural schools in Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi and on the characteristics that the five schools shared. Among many others, each school: displayed a sense of mutual respect and shared expectation; viewed smallness as an asset; had positive, flexible and collegial leadership; and, their environments brought out — and expected — the best of everyone. The report was prepared for the Southern Rural High School Study Initiative, a joint venture of the Southern Governors' Association, Southern Regional Education Board, and The Rural Trust.


Rural Equity Collaborative Fights for Rural Kids in Four States

Four state organizations and the Rural School and Community Trust are entering the third year of a partnership that is making a difference for rural kids in Mississippi, Nebraska, Vermont, and West Virginia.


Good Rural High Schools: Principles and Standards

Principles and StandardsPrinciples and standards for good high schools developed by the Rural School and Community Trust.


Good Rural High Schools: Rubrics and Standards for High School Observation and Assessment

Rubrics and StandardsRubric-based assessment system for high schools developed by the Rural School and Community Trust.


Lights, Camera... Leadership!

Lights Camera Leadership!Lights, Camera... Leadership! is a high school credit-bearing curriculum that develops leadership and academic skills through the process of making and premiering a Community Video.


Achievement Distributions and Fiscal Inequalities in New Mexico Public Schools

Achievement Distributions and Fiscal Inequalities in New Mexico Public SchoolsThis report shows that New Mexico school systems suffering from low student achievement serve students who face the greatest social and economic barriers, but receive less money to work with than do other New Mexico districts.


The Devil Is in the Details: Rural-Sensitive Best Practices for Accountability Under No Child Left Behind

Rural-Sensitive Best Practices for Accountability Under NCLBStates have some flexibility in how they implement the specific provisions of the federal "No Child Left Behind" Act. The way states write their implementation plans can make all the difference to rural schools and the kids who attend them. In this new report, Rural Trust policy analyst Lorna Jimerson evaluates how 15 different states are implementing NCLB, and highlights the most "rural sensitive" practices.


The Star with My Name: The Alaska Rural Systemic Initiative and the Impact of Place-Based Education on Native Student Achievement

The Star With My NameThis white paper from the Rural Trust's capacity building program shows how place-based learning has led to favorable academic outcomes for students in rural Alaska. "The Star With My Name" recounts the methods and successes of the Alaska Rural Systemic Initiative using place-based learning with Alaska Native students in the state's small rural schools.


They Remember What They Touch: The Impact of Place-Based Learning in East Feliciana Parish

They Remember What They TouchContrary to its Spanish name, East Feliciana has never been a "happy land" for public education. Located in southeastern Louisiana, East Feliciana Parish School District was carved out as a result of consolidations, closures, mergers and chronic poor school performance. The district serves approximately 3,000 students, 2,400 of them in grades K-8. In a parish where African-Americans comprise only 47.1% of the population, they represent more than 80% of the public school students; most, 84.8%, qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.


Small Works in Nebraska: How Poverty and the Size of School Systems Affect School Performance in Nebraska

Small Works in NebraskaAs Nebraska considers a proposal to consolidate many of its small rural schools, this study finds compelling evidence that academic achievement is higher in the state's smaller schools—particularly for students who live in poorer communities. The study by Jerry Johnson, policy analyst for the Rural Trust, explores the relationships among school size, poverty, and student achievement in Nebraska and finds that smaller schools significantly reduce the power of poverty to affect student academic performance.


School Size: Research Based Conclusions

School size is a critical factor in determining educational outcomes. Research links small school size with higher levels of achievement and cost effectiveness. Small size also makes other school improvements more effective. But the advantages of small schools can be undermined if they are under funded or forced to organize and operate the way larger schools do. Here is what researchers have found about school size.


Land for Granted: The Effects of Acreage Policies on Rural Schools and Communities

Land for GrantedIn many states, receiving state aid to build a new school — or renovate an existing one — is contingent on compliance with state policies that state the minimum acreage necessary for a particular type of school. This report finds that these minimum acreage requirements — imposed in 23 states — often create special problems for rural school districts. The report also explains the kinds of policies in effect in various states and outlines their impacts on small and rural school districts.


2003 State Distance Learning Policy Study: A Non-Interpretive Analysis

2003 State Distance Learning Policy StudyThis research report (from the Rural Trust in conjunction with the State Technology Directors Association), details the extent and type of distance learning technologies currently in use across the U.S. and the role of state education agencies in the creation of distance learning policies, rules, and regulations.


Gallup Goes to School: The Importance of Confidence Intervals for Evaluating "Adequate Yearly Progress" in Small Schools

Gallup Goes to Schoolwww.ruraledu.org/articles.phpThis report finds that states should use statistical confidence intervals to interpret test scores as a measure of "adequate yearly progress" for small schools under the No Child Left Behind Act.


School District Consolidation in Arkansas

School District Consolidation in ArkansasIn response to an Arkansas Supreme Court order to alter the state's school funding system, Governor Mike Huckabee and others have proposed consolidating many small school districts. This report analyzes financial and academic data of all Arkansas districts and evaluates several approaches to district consolidation.


The Re-Invention of Regional Service Co-ops in Arkansas

The following is intended to be a thought-provoking, but non-prescriptive, look at the future of Regional Education Service Cooperatives in Arkansas. The decisions reached, however, must be made with the full and equal involvement of the existing co-ops, the districts they serve, and the Arkansas Department of Education.


Rural School Leadership in the Deep South: A Framework for Professional Development

A Framework for Professional DevelopmentThis is the second in a two-part series intended to give public voice to school leaders in the South. The report comes from discussions of the Rural School Leaders Working Group, a group of 20 principals, superintendents and instructional supervisors from Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, who met to discuss the issues, challenges and opportunities for school leadership. This report outline the features of a practitioner-led, research oriented professional development plan for the participating leaders to strengthen their capacity to meet the critical challenges and opportunities of rural school leadership. The report is available for free as a PDF from the Rural Trust.


Engaged Institutions: Impacting Vulnerable Youth Through Place-Based Learning

Engaged InstitutionsWith funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Rural Trust sponsored several researchers to develop case studies examining the connections between higher education institutions and vulnerable youth in communities that have chosen place-based education as a framework for student learning and community growth. The report explores the development of rural Education Renewal Zones in Missouri, an aquaculture project in northeastern Maine that is helping revitalize a small town's fishing economy, and a project in New Mexico focused on water use and conservation through using an "acequia" irrigation system. Engaged Institutions also features in-depth studies on other place-based learning partnerships including initiatives to preserve Navajo culture in Indian schools in Arizona, unique media arts projects in Appalachia, and a project aimed at improving writing skills using local culture in the Mississippi Delta.


Alternative Ways to Achieve Cost Effective Schools

There are legitimate concerns about the administrative costs of running small school districts. It has been widely assumed that the only way to reduce these costs is to achieve economies of scale by eliminating school districts through consolidation. Proposals to consolidate districts often include assurances that closing districts does not mean that schools have to close. The idea is that we can reduce administrative costs without losing the educational benefits of small schools.


The Fiscal Impacts of School Consolidation: Research Based Conclusions

Consolidation proponents often argue that consolidating schools and/or districts will lower per pupil costs. But a stream of studies over half a century casts doubts on this assumption.


Save a Penny, Lose a School: The Real Cost of Deferred Maintenance

This policy brief describes the problem of deferred maintenance for school facilities, especially from the perspective of small rural districts. It examines the extent, causes, and consequences of deferred maintenance as well as recommendations for policy, practice, and funding that can help correct this national problem.


The Competitive Disadvantage: Teacher Compensation in Rural America

The Competitive DisadvantageThe No Child Left Behind Act envisions a "highly qualified" teacher in every American classroom. It is a noble goal, to be sure, but according to this report, it is a goal that presents special challenges to already stressed rural schools struggling to recruit and retain qualified teachers. A severe teacher shortage, combined with rural teacher salaries that lag significantly behind those of urban and suburban teachers, will make it difficult to achieve the vision articulated in NCLB. The Competitive Disadvantage explores the latest data and research relevant to rural teacher compensation and suggests policy directions that can help guarantee that no rural children are left behind in the national quest for educational excellence.


Why Rural Matters 2003: The Continuing Need for Every State to Take Action on Rural Education

Why Rural  Matters 2003This is the second analysis by the Rural Trust of data on education in rural America from a wide variety of sources. The report's conclusion: specific policy attention to rural school needs is critically needed in many states.


Distance Learning Technologies: Giving Small Schools Big Capabilities

In school and district consolidation, the well-documented benefits of small schools to students and their communities are lost. It doesn't have to be this way. Other alternatives, such as distance learning, are both possible and preferable. Distance learning can provide students access to a virtually unlimited curriculum while retaining the benefits of small, local schools. But distance learning can be done well, or badly. Here, too, there are choices.


Closing Costs: A Summary of an Award Winning Look at School Consolidation in West Virginia, a State Where It Has Been Tried Aggressively

Few states have pursued consolidation of rural schools more aggressively than West Virginia. With the promise of broader curriculum and huge tax savings, the state has closed more than 300 schools, one in every five, since 1990. In 2002, the Charleston Gazette investigated the outcomes of the state's consolidation efforts in the series, "Closing Costs."


Rural School Leadership in the Deep South: The Double-Edged Legacy of School Desegregation

The Double-Edged Legacy of School DesegregationThis is the first in a two-part series intended to give public voice to school leaders in the South. The report comes from discussions of the Rural School Leaders Working Group, a group of 20 principals, superintendents and instructional supervisors from Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, who met to discuss the issues, challenges, and opportunities for school leadership. The report outlines what participants considered the most important topic areas for their personal learning and professional development, and what they indicated they need to lead school districts to greater student achievement and overall performance. The report is available for free as a PDF from the Rural Trust.


Dollars and Sense: The Cost Effectiveness of Small Schools

Dollars and SenseDollars & Sense is a collaborative effort of the KnowledgeWorks Foundation, the Rural School and Community Trust, and Concordia, Inc. A team of nine researchers with expertise in education, architecture, and quantitative research challenge the common belief that big schools are cheaper to build and maintain than are small ones. Their conclusion: investing tax dollars in small schools makes good economic sense.


Lowering the Overhead by Raising the Roof ...and other Rural Trust strategies to reduce the costs of your small school

Lowering the OverheadLowering the Overhead by Raising the Roof provides strategies to help communities reduce the costs of maintaining, building, and renovating small schools, author Barbara Lawrence reports on specific strategies that rural communities have used and shares what she has learned from people throughout the country.


Tell Us How It Was: Stories of Rural Elders Preserved by Rural Youth

Tell Us How It WasA valuable collection of oral histories assembled by students in rural communities across the country, this unbound volume designed for a three-ring binder seeks to both celebrate this outstanding work and also encourage teachers and students to design oral history projects of their own. It includes samples of oral histories gathered from around the country, a review of an oral history project from planning through to completion, and an extensive annoutated bibliography, detailing oral history resources for teachers and students.


Small Works in Arkansas: How Poverty and the Size of Schools and School Districts Affect School Performance in Arkansas

Small_Works_In_Arkan.pdfA series of studies in seven states (Alaska, California, Georgia, Montana, Ohio, Texas, and West Virginia) indicates that smaller schools reduce the harmful effects of poverty on student achievement and help students from less affluent communities narrow the academic achievement gap between them and students from wealthier communities. The implication is that the less affluent a community, the smaller the school and school district serving that community should be in order to maximize student achievement. The present study conducted by Ohio University researchers extends this analysis to Arkansas. The findings are remarkably consistent with those from the other states.


Still "A Reasonably Equal Share": Update on Educational Equity in Vermont

This report updates the 2001 study on the impact of Vermont's Equal Educational Opportunity Act of 1997 (Act 60) using the latest available data to examine the degree to which Act 60 has improved on the three main equity goals established by the state's Supreme Court and Legislature: Student Resource Equity, Tax Burden Equity and Academic Achievement Equity. The report concludes that Act 60 continues to fulfill these mandates.


The Rural School Bus Ride in Five States

Rural School Bus Ride in Five StatesThis report provides the first detailed picture of the features of the rural school bus ride and reveals troubling information about the long commutes adults force on rural children.


How to Analyze Your State's Education Finance System

This workbook walks you through the complex maze of information gathering and analysis needed to begin to make sense of finance systems. We recommend using the guide online to make it easier to access various sources of information.


Where Has All the "Rural" Gone?

This piece indicated the need for increased rural education research, particularly research with federal backing and monitoring. Sherwood points to the flaws in the education funding system that are making the rural education researcher an "endangered species" and provides suggestions for the federal government, rural organizations, and community members to change the course of research before it is too late.


A Reasonably Equal Share: Educational Equity in Vermont

This report finds that Vermont's Equal Educational Opportunity Act of 1997 (Act 60) has significantly improved educational equity in the state and has achieved three main goals established by the state's Supreme Court and the Legislature: student resource equity, tax burden equity, and academic achievement equity. The findings suggest that Vermont is on the right course in the way it funds its schools.


Assessing Student Work

Assessing Student WorkAn update of the earlier Assessment Monograph, this report discusses the limitations of standardized testing in evaluating student progress and offers alternative methods to assess project and place-based student work.


Small Schools: Why They Provide the Best Education for Low-Income Children

Small SchoolsThis report crystalizes the research of Dr. Craig Howley focusing on West Virginia.


School Consolidation and Transportation Policy: An Empirical and Institutional Analysis

School Consolidation and Transportation PolicyOffering new empirical and theoretical insights into school and district consolidation across the country, this study traces actual transportation costs across states and the relationship between transportation and instructional costs. They posit that the consolidation and transportation issues are linked and that together they have constrained instructional opportunities for rural children.


Standards in Public Schools: A Policy Statement of the Rural School and Community Trust

http://www.ruraledu.org/articles.php?id=2087This document articulates the Rural Trust's views on academic standards, with particular emphasis on the role of community input in setting and maintaining standards. Ann C. Lewis, columnist for KAPPAN magazine, called this policy statement "one of the finest philosophical documents to come out of the standards movement."


Parent Participation, School Accountability & Rural Education: The Impact of KERA on Kentucky School Facilities Policy

This report discusses particular forms of parent involvement and democratic empowerment now partially restored in the state of Kentucky which have become engendered as a result of the Kentucky Educational Reform Act (KERA) of 1990, a landmark attempt to reduce inequity statewide.


Small Schools, Big Results: Nebraska High School Completion and Postsecondary Enrollment Rates by Size of School District

Small Schools, Big ResultsThis research, funded in part by the Rural Trust, finds that small schools measure up very well against their big neighbors when the cost of schooling is measured as the cost per graduate.


A Message for the 'War Room'

Anne C. Lewis, columnist for KAPPAN, discusses the standards movement and the Rural School and Community Trust (formerly the Rural Challenge) standards policy statement.


Public School Standards: Discussing the Case for Community Control

Public School Standards: Discussing the Case for Community ControlFrom November 1998 through February 1999, the Rural Trust's Policy Program hosted an online discussion of public school standards. They reflect the thoughts of several hundred parents, educators, policymakers, and interested individuals from 45 states and three countries who weighed in on the standards issue as it affects rural communities. The proceedings of this lively debate are available online.


Our Challenge: To Set the Highest Possible National Standard — for Human Relationships

From November of 1998 through February of 1999, the Rural Challenge hosted an online conversation to raise the issue of community input in the standards movement that is sweeping the country. A highlight of the event was a January 13th video conference involving over 200 participants in seven sites around the U.S. with hundreds of others following the conversation from their computers. This is the transcript the keynote address given by Debra Meier.


Our Challenge: To Set the Highest Possible National Standard -- for Human Relationships

From November of 1998 through February of 1999, the Rural Challenge hosted an online conversation to raise the issue of community input in the standards movement that is sweeping the country. A highlight of the event was a January 13th video conference involving over 200 participants in seven sites around the U.S. with hundreds of others following the conversation from their computers. This is the transcript of the keynote address given by Debra Meier.


Standing Up for Community and School

This reports tells the stories of seven individuals living in rural communities and their personal struggles with public policies around schooling. The booklet also includes a "What I Can Do" section with contact information for legislative hotlines and Departments of Education across the country.