Thursday, February 11, 2016

Major media often overlook plight of rural schools

The struggles of rural schools are often overlooked by journalists who focus on urban schools, David Gutierrez writes for Harvard Political Review. "This disparity in media coverage is understandable — the crumbling infrastructure of cities, the poverty and segregation faced by inner-city students, and the presence of a school-to-prison pipeline are all serious problems that demand reforms. But in a media market where large newspapers and television stations now compete with international media outlets, rural educational issues can be forgotten in the commotion. Many rural school districts face concerns that stem from the current demographic and economic state of rural areas, the lack of technological infrastructure, and the difficulty of hiring and retaining teachers."

Rural schools sometimes face high levels of poverty, funding disparities, transportation burdens, teacher shortages and inferior technology, Gutierrez writes. "The current state of rural education is bleak, but with a renewed scrutiny on the American education system, it is time to address all underperforming schools, regardless of their location. While the problems rural schools face are connected with larger problems of economic development, there are some things that can be done to help them. These solutions will require a concerted effort to effect substantial change and to ensure that every child, urban or rural, receives an equal opportunity to succeed."

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