Friday, November 13, 2009

New report breaks down rural school data by state

A new report from The Rural School and Community Trust analyzes the state-by-state data on rural schools and students. The fifth in a series of biennial reports, Why Rural Matters 2009: State and Regional Challenges and Opportunities, calls attention to the "need for policymakers to address rural education issues in their respective states," authors Jerry Johnson, policy research and analysis manager, and Marty Strange, policy director, write in a news release. The authors will hold a Capitol Hill briefing Monday, Nov. 16.

The authors say their intent is not to compare state-by-state differences toward some arbitrary goal, but to "highlight the priority policy needs of rural public schools and the communities they serve, and 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." Each state breakdown includes contextual information about the number of rural schools compared to non-rural ones in the state, demographic rural school data and proficiency information such as test scores and graduation rates. (Read more)

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