Number weighting in the formula used to allocate federal Title I funds works against small, high-poverty urban districts the same way it does many high-poverty rural districts.


Two headlines that will surprise no one: Small schools and schools with high numbers of kids in poverty and minorities -- many of which researchers say are concentrated in certain rural regions -- lose the most teachers. Also, principal turnover rates in those same categories of schools are the highest in the nation. I came across the numbers that show those facts while reporting this story on how universities, non-profits and rural school districts are turning to programs that nurture homegrown talent. Yet those were the only useful numbers I found attempting to paint a precise statistical picture of what ...


The U.S Department of Education's point person for rural education says he's found a number of successful programs in rural schools around the country, and he's working to help Washington identify and replicate them. "Many rural schools do a good job of making school meaningful to students with place-based programs and career and technical programs," said John White, who has served as deputy secretary for rural outreach since October. White's role is a new one for both him and the department. He joined the Education Department as press secretary in May 2009, then moved to rural outreach amid criticism ...


The vigor of America's rural communities lies in the hands of its young rural leaders, a top U.S. Department of Agriculture official told National FFA student leaders from across the country meeting in Washington. Read here what Dallas Tonsager, undersecretary for rural development at the USDA, said last week at the annual gathering. While Tonsager's remarks didn't directly address the plight of rural schools, many of the students at the conference were likely future agricultural education teachers in rural settings. And, the conference's focus on strengthening rural communities goes hand in hand with a recurring theme at rural think ...


One question lingering after a recent summit in Washington exploring how rural schools can use technology to expand student learning was who might take the lead. (Read Ian Quillan's coverage of the summit on the Digital Education blog. Here's a story that highlights one way a university in North Carolina is taking the lead and using technology (Skype and iChat, which are free) to connect with rural classrooms in four states to target a specific need. (Be sure to watch the video—there's great back-and-forth between a teacher and a child.) The $5 million Targeted Reading Intervention program, paid for ...


Stephen Sawchuk, over at the Teacher Beat blog, wrote about a new study that has obvious implications for rural schools. The study, he explains, found Teach For America teachers who are assigned to teach more than one grade, subject, or out-of-field are more likely to leave their schools—or the profession altogether. The scholars' conclusion? If schools want to retain new teachers, don't assign them to teach multiple grades or multiple subjects or subjects in which they have little or no formal preparation. Teach for America reaches deep into the nation's rural school districts, particularly in the Mississippi Delta. So the...


Jerry Johnson of the Rural School and Community Trust gives his take on the 19 finalists vying for a cut of the $3.4 billion left in Race to the Top.


Rural schools need reforms in federal education policy that provide support, not ultimatums, rural educators told a U.S. Senate committee meeting in Wyoming.


Dozens of Congress members are urging the president to re-up 10-year-old legislation that sends millions of dollars to rural schools to replace federal timber revenue.


Arne Duncan's National Learning Registry is a promising idea, but rural schools need the hardware, software, and know-how to use it to their full advantage.


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