Achievement Gap


Rural public schools worry they will be left behind

 With a new administration in the White House that prefers  "school-choice” approaches — favoring charter schools and private-school vouchers so parents can opt out of public schools and bring taxpayer dollars with them — the nation’s rural schools are left to wonder about their fate.


Rural Snapshot: Dillon County, South Carolina

Dillon County, South Carolina is a poor rural community located along interstate 95, about 70 miles northwest of Myrtle Beach.  In Dillon County, roughly two-thirds of students are African-American, one-third are white and 90 percent are low-income.


Teachers and Literacy Coordinators Collaborate to Improve Early Literacy in Rural Communities

More than twenty-five schools across the U.S. are collaborating to implement a multi-layered, rural-specific approach to improving early literacy, especially for children at risk in high-poverty, rural communities.


U.S. Department of Education Reminds Small, Rural School Achievement (SRSA) Grantees of Eligibility Requirements

The purpose of the Small, Rural School Achievement grant program is to provide financial assistance to rural districts to assist them in meeting their state's definition of adequate yearly progress (AYP). Applicants do not compete but rather are entitled to funds if they meet basic eligibility requirements.


Deadline to Apply For Reading is Fundamental (RIF) Matching Grant is October 15, 2016

Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is inviting all Campaign for Grade-Level Reading communities to participate in its Read for Success program in the summer of 2017.
Date: July 03, 2016
Related Categories: Student, Teacher, What's New
Related Tags: Achievement Gap, Early Childhood, Early Literacy, K-12


Coalition for Teaching Quality Represents 100+ Local, State and National Groups

The Coalition for Teaching Quality (CTQ) represents a broad cross-section of over 100 local, state, and national organizations representing civil rights, disability, parent, student, community, and education groups. The Rural School and Community Trust has been a member since the coalition’s founding in 2010.


Regional Education Laboratory Appalachia Co-hosts July 25 Event on Postsecondary Readiness in Rural Communities

Regional Education Laboratories (REL) invite practitioners and leaders from rural schools and districts, as well as rural education researchers are invited the attend the Cross-REL full-day event in Nashville, Tennessee.


Investing in Innovation (i3) Rural Grantee Webinar set for June 22, 2016

The U.S. Department of Education's Investing in Innovation (i3) Program recently announced a June 22 webinar with two i3 grantees working to improve achievement in rural high schools.


Monsanto Fund awards $25,000 to the Rural School and Community Trust in support of Why Rural Matter 2015-16 research project

The Rural School and Community Trust received a $25,000 Monsanto grant award providing support for the research and publication of Why Rural Matters 2015-16. This biennial series research report focuses on the realities of K-12 education state-by-state across rural America.  


Community Schools 2016 National Forum Scheduled for April 6 - 8 in Albuquerque

Rural educators and stakeholders are encouraged to attend the Community Schools 2016 National Forum.


Application Deadline for 2016 Global Teacher Fellowship Program Extended to February 12

The Rural Trust is pleased to announce that applications for the 2016 Global Teacher Fellowship Program are now open!  The application deadline has been extended to February 12, 2016.


Leonore Annenberg School Fund Grantees Benefit from Grant-Funded Technology

In 2014, the Rural Trust announced that Greenville Elementary School, located in Greenville Florida, would receive an award from the Leonore Annenberg School Fund.


Student Literacy Blossoms at Rural Schools' Summer Learning Labs

Literacy learning labs, held this summer in 21 rural schools in five states, gave students a safe space to read and write and gave teachers a chance to collaborate and try new strategies.


Read for Success Report Addresses Summer Learning Loss in Poor and Rural Communities

In May 2015, Reading is Fundamental (RIF) released the report entitled, Read for Success: Combating the Summer Learning Slide. The study was designed by RIF to determine how schools and communities in the poorest and/or most rural areas could address summer learning loss, and ultimately the achievement gap, through access to opportunity, books, and learning resources.


Virginia Rural Elementary Schools Receive Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children Grants

Two rural public elementary schools in Virginia will receive grants of $50,000 each from the Leonore Annenberg School Fund for Children, which provides educational resources to underfunded schools in rural communities.


Administration Releases Report, Opportunity for All: Fighting Rural Child Poverty

On May 20, 2015, the White House released the report, entitled, Opportunity for All: Fighting Rural Child Poverty. The report examines poverty in rural areas, compares urban and rural poverty rates, discusses how safety net programs reduce rural poverty, and highlights the Administration's efforts and proposals to reduce poverty and promote opportunity in rural communities.


Listen to IEL's Community Schools and Equity Recorded Webinar Series

Beginning in January 2015, the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) has hosted a series of community schools and equity webinars. The webinars explore how to utilize the full-service community school approach, both in policy and in practice. In addition, these webinars also discuss methods of closing the equity and opportunity gaps for all children.


Register Now for June 24 Webinar on Building School-Community Models

This Wednesday, June 24 webinar will provide tips from educators and advocates on how to build lasting school-community partnerships. Marty J. Blank, President of the Institute for Educational Leadership, and Director of the Coalition for Community Schools, will be among the guest speakers.


Rural Community Schools Are Invited to Submit Their School's Data into CCS Directory

The Coalition for Community Schools invites rural community schools to participate in the annual Community Schools Directory. The purpose of this directory is to ascertain the number, location, and scope of community schools in the United States. By participating, rural school administrators can let their voices be heard and connect with others who are facing similar challenges.


Rural Schools Collaborative Grant Applications Due May 15, 2015

The Rural Schools Collaborative announced its Grants in Place program for rural classroom teachers. Grants in Place will provide up to twenty grants for innovative place-based education projects. Funding will be awarded for projects that will commence in Fall 2015. 


Register Now for April 8 Webinar: Closing the Achievement Gap in Rural Districts: Lessons from Research and the Field

Hosted by the Regional Education Laboratory (REL) Central at Marzano Research, this April 8 webinar will provide participants with research and information about the instructional and organizational practices of rural districts that have closed the achievement gap.


April 7, 2015 is Deadline to Apply for K-12 Science and Audio-Visual Teacher-in-Residence Positions

The Educational Outreach Division of the Library of Congress is seeking applications from current K-12 teachers or library/media specialists for two Teacher-in-Residence positions during the 2015-16 school year.


Read about the U.S. Department of Education's Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request

Critical investments in preschool, K-12 and higher education are among the highlights of the Department of Education's 2016 budget request.


Register Now for IEL's March 17 Webinar: My Brother's Keeper and Community Schools

This upcoming webinar will focus on strategies to effectively reach young men of color in community schools through the lens of President Obama's initiative known as My Brother's Keeper. Webinar presenters will also discuss how to leverage community partnerships to address racial and educational disparities.


Mark Your Calendar: March 4th and March 5th Webinars Focus on Rural Education Issues

The Regional Education Laboratories (REL) are presenting webinars which focus on rural education topics. REL Central will present the March 4 Webinar. REL Southwest will host the March 5 Webinar.


National Education Association Celebrates Read Across America on March 2, 2015

The Rural School and Community Trust joins the National Education Association (NEA) in commemorating Read Across America on Monday, March 2, 2015.


Rural Trust Joins Coalition in Push for Equal Access to Well-Prepared and Effective Educators For Each and Every Child

On October 7, 2014, the Rural School and Community Trust joined the Coalition for Teaching Quality on Capitol Hill in urging Congress to push for a comprehensive road map for ensuring there are well-prepared and effective educators for each student, regardless of need, color or disability.


Register Now for Feb. 12 Webinar: Rural Challenges and Resources Needed for Dropout Prevention

The high school dropout problem presents unique challenges for rural schools and communities. This Feb. 12 webinar will reveal the severity of the dropout problem in rural America, risk factors for dropping out, and best-practice solutions.


U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights Releases Guidance to Ensure that All Students have Equal Access to Educational Resources

On October 2, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights released guidance in the form of a Dear Colleague Letter to ensure that all students have equal access to educational resources. The guidance provides detailed and concrete information to educators on the standards established by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


USDA's Farm to School Grant Program Enables Schools to Bring Healthy, Locally-grown Food to the School Cafeteria

Through the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm to School Grant Program, schools are able to incorporate fresh, local food into their school meals and teach students about healthy eating through hands-on experience in their own school gardens as well as nutrition education in the classroom.


Register Now for December 10 NCEEP Webinar: Issues, Challenges and Successes for GEAR UP Programs in Rural Areas

Throughout the United States, GEAR UP programs in rural communities face unique challenges trying to facilitate college readiness and access for low-income, first-generation students, ranging from transportation issues, teacher quality and turnover, and inadequate K-12 resources and rigor to lack of post-secondary education and economic development opportunities.

Rural School and Community Trust to Participate in Rural Education National Forum, Oct. 27-28

The Rural Education National Forum, hosted by Battelle for Kids, offers participants an opportunity to share successful models of transformation and highlight powerful instructional and leadership practices underway in rural districts across the country. Rural Trust Communications Director, Mr. Robert Mahaffey will participate in panel discussions at the Columbus, Ohio event.


Thank a Million Teachers Grant Applications Due October 31, 2014

In an effort to make a positive impact on the lives of educators and their students, the University of Farmers Education Foundation is giving away $1 million in grants to America's teachers. Parents, students and fellow-educators can help by saying "Thank You" to an educator that's made a difference in his or her life and the community


Nominations for the 2015 Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowship in Education Leadership are Now Being Accepted

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation has announced a grant of nearly $14.5 million from the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment to expand its MBA program in education leadership.


Why Rural Matters 2013-14 Garners National Attention at Capitol Hill Briefing

On July 9, 2014, Rural Trust staff and researchers presented the key research findings of Why Rural Matters 2013-14 at a policy briefing on Capitol Hill. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Representative Glen Thompson (R-PA) sponsored this Hill event, which was attended by a diverse group of educators, policy enthusiasts and rural supporters.


USDA Extends Community Eligibility Deadline to August 31, 2014

The USDA Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) allows participating high poverty schools to offer healthy free lunches and breakfasts to all students, without requiring their families to complete individual applications.


Partnerships, NOT Pushouts: New "Whole-Child" Policy Guide for School Board Members

On April 22, 2014, a new "Whole-Child" policy guide was released which details how school board members can lead the way in securing a high-quality education for each and every student in their district.


CNCS Announces FY 2014 Funding Opportunity for Indian Tribes

With the FY 2014 AmeriCorps Indian Tribes Notice of Funding Opportunity, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) seeks to prioritize the investment of national service resources in economic opportunity, education, veterans and military families, and disaster services in Native American communities.


Narrowing the Achievement Gap: Grade-level Reading by the End of Third Grade

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a collaborative effort by foundations, nonprofit partners, states and communities across the nation to ensure that more children in low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career, and active citizenship.


Rural Trust Fellows Bring Global Connections to the Rural Classroom

In February 2013, Global Teacher Fellows (GTF), Meg Allison and Pamela Dow gave Moretown Elementary students the experience of flying on a plane and traveling to Paris. This simulated student excursion to Paris was just another example of how the Rural Trust's GTF Fellows are bringing global connections to the rural classroom and opening up their students' eyes to the world around them.


Rural High Schools Can Use OECD Test to Gauge and Improve Student Achievement

The Rural School and Community Trust is very pleased to announce our endorsement and enthusiastic support for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Test for Schools.


How Scaling Up Reading Recovery is Meeting the Needs of Students in Rural Schools

A part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund and private funders are providing grantees the opportunity to make significant strides in education. The Ohio University was among those applicants for which the Rural Trust provided funding support.


Register Now for PISA Day, Dec. 3, 2013, Live Digital Event

You are invited to participate in PISA Day 2013: Learning Beyond the Rankings. This national digital event, streamed live at PISADay.org, will examine the results from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and their implications for U.S. education policy.


Rural Trust Participates in Pathways to Partnership Bus Tour Across California

Between October 14 and 16, the Rural Trust participated in Pathways to Partnership: Community Schools Strategies in Action, a three-day, statewide bus tour which explored how the community schools strategy is being implemented in California.


How i3 Grantees are Successfully Improving Student Achievement in Low-Performing Middle-Grade Schools

A part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Investing in Innovation (i3) Fund and private funders are providing grantees the opportunity to make significant strides in education. The National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform was among those applicants for which the Rural Trust provided funding support.


ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress Every Child Deserves a Fully-Prepared Teacher

What kind of teacher would you choose for your own child or grandchild: one who has completed their teacher training, or one who has just begun it? Doesn't every child deserve to have a fully-prepared teacher in the classroom from day one?


Register for Racial Healing Network Regional Calls

The Within Our Lifetime Network invites you to connect with others in your region who are committed to ending the impact of racism in our lifetime. The Within Our Lifetime Network,  which works to promotes racial healing and racial equity, invites you to join one of six scheduled calls in early September.


W.K. Kellogg Foundation Announces $5 Million Investment to Support Children's Educational Success from Birth to Age 8

On August 26, 2013, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) announced a $5 million investment to identify and cultivate innovations in the growing field of family engagement that support children's educational success from birth to 8 years old.


U.S. Department of Education Invites Districts to Apply for $120 Million in Race to the Top

On July 30, 2013, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it had finalized the application for the 2013 Race to the Top-District competition, which will provide nearly $120 million to support bold, locally directed improvements in learning and teaching that will directly improve student achievement and educator effectiveness.


Now Archived: All Children Are Equal Act (ACE) Webinar

Title I dollars are the foundation of the federal commitment to closing the achievement gap between low-income and other students. Unfortunately, the current formula for distributing funds has led to less poor districts receiving larger per-pupil Title I awards than their higher poverty neighbors.


Leadership Conference Education Fund releases report, Reversing the Rising Tide of Inequality: Achieving Educational Equity for Each and Every Child

Reversing the Rising Tide of Inequality On April 15, 2013, the Leadership Conference Education Fund released their report, “Reversing the Rising Tide of Inequality: Achieving Educational Equity for Each and Every Child,” – a call to action to provide each and every child the education she or he deserves.


The President's 2014 Budget Proposal for Education: Early Learning Is a Key Investment

President Obama’s proposed fiscal year 2014 budget highlights key education investments in early learning, furthering the K-12 reform agenda, college affordability and quality, school safety and expanded opportunities for both middle- and low-income communities, while protecting formula programs for at-risk populations overall.


U.S. Department of Education Announces Start of 2013 i3 Grant Competition

On March 27, 2013, the U.S. Department of Education announced the start of the $150 million 2013 Investing in Innovation (i3) grant competition with the release of the program's invitation for pre-applications for the i3 "Development" grant category and the notice of final priorities for the i3 program overall.


Investing in Innovation (i3) Grant

View the latest Rural Trust i3 resources here, including archived webinars, presentations, and grant competition news. The Investing in Innovation (i3) Grant was established under section 14007 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and provides funding to support local educational agencies (LEAs) and nonprofit organizations in partnership with one or more LEAs or a consortium of schools.


Children's Defense Fund National Conference: July 22-25, 2012

Make plans now for the 2012 Children's Defense Fund National Conference, set for July 22–25 in  Cincinnati, Ohio.


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.


Citizens Call for Transparency in Mississippi Consolidation Recommendations

The Governor’s Commission on Mississippi Education Structure is likely to recommend dissolving 18 small rural school districts. Citizens are asking for the data analysis that was used to identify the districts.


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.


Two Analyses of Mississippi Achievement Data Produce Significant Findings for Policymakers

Two recent Rural Trust analyses, conducted in partnership with Southern Echo, find that the negative effects of poverty on student test scores is reduced in small school districts and that districts ranked highly in the state’s accountability system are no better at closing achievement gaps that lower rated districts…
Date: April 30, 2010
Related Categories: Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Achievement Gap, African-American students, Disabilities, Income Related Issues


Investing in Innovation (i3): A Rural School Technical Assistance Initiative Webinar

Investing in Innovation (i3): A Rural School Technical Assistance Initiative was the theme of this March 19, 2010 webinar from the Rural School and Community Trust.


Achievement Gap Study Offers More Data for Understanding How Schools and Policymakers Can Respond

In this issue of RPM-PX we take a final look at a series of recent reports on the Achievement Gap with a review of David Berliner’s paper, Poverty and Potential: Out-of-School Factors and School Success. We offer our thoughts on its implications for rural schools…
Date: November 29, 2009
Related Categories: RSIN Premium Content, Rural Policy Matters
Related Tags: Achievement Gap, RPM Premium Exclusive


The Achievement Gap: Further Exploration of Factors That Undermine Achievement

RPM-PX continues its exploration of the achievement gap and how barriers to learning affect different groups of students…


Understanding and Addressing the Achievement Gap

A number of factors explain the devastating gap in achievement between middle and upper income white students and students from historically disadvantaged backgrounds. In this report we look at one of several recent reports that examines the gap and what can be done about it…