Friday, June 09, 2017

All 90 grads of high school in rural, majority-minority county plan to keep pursuing education

Warren County, N.C. (Wikipedia map)
Here's a piece of encouraging news on the rural-education front: All 90 graduates of the public high school in Warren County, North Carolina, "have been accepted into community colleges and universities and plan to pursue education beyond high school," Ferrel Guillory of the University of North Carolina journalism school reports in his weekly column for EducationNC.

"It is a promising transition in the lives of the students and an important achievement for a school in a completely rural, majority-minority, economically-distressed county where only 15 percent of adults have a bachelor’s degree," Guillory writes. "The good news from Warren County comes at a time when rural communities and their schools have encountered severe economic and political headwinds. High-skill, higher-paying jobs have increasingly clustered in metropolitan areas, while many rural communities remain bruised and weakened by the jobs lost during the big recession of the previous decade."

The Warren County graduates' aspirations "suggest that rural students can stand against the headwinds" of state and national policy, which Guillory outlines, and links to articles about it. "Still, rural schools need local, state and national policymakers to bolster their capacity to give young people propulsion beyond the 12th grade, whether they choose to live in a city or in their hometown."

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