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More Rural Teachers Say Common Core Will Be Challenge

A greater percentage of rural teachers think the new Common Core State Standards will be difficult for their school's leaders to implement compared with their peers in more-populated areas.

That's one of the findings in a new report on rural educators' views on a number of issues, such as student success, parent and community involvement, and school leadership. MetLife and Harris Interactive have collaborated on an annual Survey of the American Teacher since 1984, and they recently compiled a brief on the rural-specific findings from recent studies for a conference hosted by the National Center for Research on Rural Education at University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

Sixty-four percent of rural teachers surveyed said the common core standards would be challenging or very challenging for their supervisors, a higher percentage than their urban (56 percent) or suburban (58 percent) counterparts.

The report didn't explain why rural teachers might perceive a greater difficulty in implementation. But many rural schools face limited budges and have fewer resources for activities such as professional development.

When rural principals were asked the same question on implementing common core, the percentage who said it would be a challenge was not different than that of suburban principals (68 percent). Urban principals had a slightly lower rate (66 percent).

Rural teachers also don't think much differently than their peers in more-populated areas about their ability to teach the new standards. Half of teachers and 40 percent of principals in rural schools said they were confident their peers have the skills needed to teach the new standards. Rural teachers were less likely than suburban teachers and as likely as urban teachers to be very confident that implementation of the standards would improve student achievement.

The report didn't have any recommendations.

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