Last Updated: January 10, 2012
Why 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.
While it is the sixth in a series, this report is not simply an updating of data from earlier editions. On the contrary, from one report to the next, we have deliberately altered the statistical indicators and gauges to call attention to the variability and complexity of rural education. Our intent in these reports is not — as it is in many state-by-state analyses — to compare states in terms of their differing rates of progress toward an arbitrary goal. Rather, our intent is (1) to provide information and analyses that highlight the priority policy needs of rural public schools and the communities they serve, and (2) to describe the complexity of rural contexts in ways that can help policymakers better understand the challenges faced by their constituencies and formulate policies that are responsive to those challenges.