Education Policy and Activism


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.


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.


National Rural Education Association Task Force Reports on School Consolidation

A task force of the National Rural Education Association has prepared a report on school consolidation for the organization's executive board. It presents an excellent summary of the history of the issue and summarizes research on the topic, concluding with a series of recommendations.


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.


How to Know if Your School or District is Threatened with Consolidation—and What to Do About It

Participants at a workshop at the Rural Education Working Group conference in Charleston, West Virginia, April 1–3, talked about how to anticipate a threat to consolidate your school before it is too late to stop it, and what to do about it. Here are just some of the notes from workshop leader Robin Lambert, a consultant to the Rural Trust, with a few ideas added later.
Date: July 01, 2005
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Community Organizing, Consolidation, Education Policy and Activism


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.


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.


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.