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Friday, March 28, 2008


Notes from the Rural Trust's Recent Webinar

The focus of this webinar conducted by the Rural School and Community Trust on March 26 was the impact of weighted grants, targeted and Education Finance Incentive (EFIG), on Title I funding for rural districts. The primary effect of these weighted grants is to shift Title I funding from small rural districts to large urban districts.

Targeted and EFIG grants were not funded until 2002; however, more than one-third of Title I funds are provided to districts through these two grants. All new Title I money since 2002 has gone to these two weighted grants; this is expected to continue indefinitely.

Two weighting systems are intended to send more money to districts with high concentrations of eligible students:
  1. Percentage Weighting: Based on the percentage of students in a district who are Title I eligible.
  2. Number Weighting: Based on the number of Title I students in a district.

Whichever method results in the greater formula student count for a district determines its student count in the formula. With number weighting, students in big districts count more. This systematic bias in the Title I formula ends up favoring a few very large districts over all smaller ones by artificially inflating their formula student count.

According to the Rural Trust, districts that gain the most are those with moderate Title I eligibility rates, and those with high absolute numbers of formula students
Districts that lose the most are moderate sized urban districts with high eligibility rates, and small and moderate sized districts. About 8,000 small districts lose 15% or more.

You can examine how the Title I number weighting options affects a specific district by using the Congressional Research Service analysis available on the Rural School and Community Trust Website: http://www.ruraledu.org/site/c.beJMIZOCIrH/b.3782113/. Click on “Access the Information” at the bottom of the page, which will bring up a large table of all districts. Use Control + F to bring up a “Find” box and insert a district name.

The Rural Trust made the following recommendations:

  1. Eliminate number weighting option.
  2. Eliminate number weighting option, but hold losers harmless.
  3. Eliminate number weighting option, but hold high-poverty districts harmless.
  4. Limit eligibility for number weighting to districts with a high eligibility rate.
  5. Reduce the weights used in the number weighting scale, especially in higher brackets.
  6. Some combination of the above.

Title I Reauthorization Update:
Congress will use different scenarios and run the figures to see the effect of funding formulas. However, most of Congress is unaware of the 4 types of Title I grants/formulas. Both the House and Senate are looking at the Title I formula and are expected to address this issue before reauthorization. Hopefully, amendments will help rural school districts.

(Many thanks to my colleague Dee Braley, a Content Specialist in special education for the Appalachia Regional Comprehensive Center, for sharing her notes from the webinar!)

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Perkins College 2008 National Summit

From http://www.perkinscollegesummit.net/

Perkins College 2008 National Summit

Be part of the beginning...

March 28, 2008, will mark the beginning of a national dialogue on education in rural settings, where 45 percent of U.S. schoolchildren learn and grow, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

This free national summit will be hosted by a leader in preparing educators – the James I. Perkins College of Education at Stephen F. Austin State University.

During the summit, the Perkins College will:

Scheduled Guest Speakers and Panelists from:

View the complete list of speakers.

Who should attend?

Perkins College Summit discussions

Interactive discussions regarding rural education will be hosted to document the critical needs for future research and additional government policies to advance education in rural settings.

Access the discussions.

Two ways to attend – on campus or online

The summit will be held 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., March 28, 2008, in the Grand Ballroom of the Baker Pattillo Student Center on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University, located in Nacogdoches, Texas. The entire summit will also be broadcast live on the Internet.

The on-campus event is limited to the first 225 registrants and will include a complimentary lunch. Online registrations are available to all who are unable to attend on-campus.

Please send all inquiries to: summit@sfasu.edu.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008


Fwd: An invitation for rural education SIG members...

A colleague, Kieran Killeen, has asked that I forward this announcement to the Rural SIG listserv. Those attending the meetings this year may well be interested in this panel, especially those with a background in and/or interest in school finance.

see you in NYC,

Kai Schafft
Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2008 14:25:15 -0400
From: "Kieran M. Killeen" <kieran.killeen@uvm.edu>
Subject: An invitation for rural education SIG members...


Though the topic of this panel will focus upon lessons learned in some high profile research projects in New York City, I believe the content will be transferable and of interest to our colleagues in rural education. I would appreciate you circulating it among the membership.


*American Educational Research Association's
Fiscal Issues, Policy & Education Finance (SIG) Invites you
to a special Panel Presentation. *

Monday, March 24th ­ 7- 8:15 p.m.
*Sheraton New York Hotels & towers
Executive Conference Center - Conference Room D (Lower Lobby) *

The annual meeting of the Fiscal Issues, Policy and Education Finance SIG will feature a panel of America's leading education finance scholars ­ Leanna Stiefel, Hamp Lankford and Deborah Cunningham. Sharing with us their insights from decades of experience in and research on New York City's public schools, Drs.Stiefel, Lankford and Cunningham will shed new light on the importance of this great city as the intersection of fiscal issues, policy and education finance at local, state and national levels. *

---Details about the Panelists---

Leanna Stiefel, Professor of Economics at New York University Dr. Stiefel, a past president of the American Education Finance Association, will reflect on the history of her collaborative work studying NYC public schools on topics that include fiscal equity, achievement gaps, grades spans, and immigrant education.

Hamilton Lankford, Professor of Educational Policy at SUNY Albany. Dr. Lankford, whose testimony figured prominently in the historic Campaign for Fiscal Equity's school finance litigation in New York State, will discuss his latest and emergent research public school on New York City's public school teachers. In collaboration with Susanna Loeb (Stanford University) and James Wyckoff (University of Virginia), Dr. Lankford is examining the effects of the multitude of pathways aspiring teachers enter through to teach in the public schools.

Deborah Cunningham, Coordinator of Educational Management Services, New York State Department of Education and Governing Board Member of the Education Finance Research Consortium Dr. Cunningham, a member of the Governing Board of the Education Finance Research Consortium (EFRC), will describe the efforts of the consortium. EFRC is a joint academic and governmental partnership with a history of producing influential education finance policy reports.

For more information about this panel and the SIG please visit http://fipefsig.googlepages.com/

Kai Schafft
Assistant Professor
Director, Center on Rural Education and Communities
Editor, Journal of Research in Rural Education
Department of Education Policy Studies
The Pennsylvania State University
310B Rackley Building
University Park, PA 16802-3200

PH: 814-863-2031
FAX: 814-865-0070

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Rural ED SIG Newsletter - Spring 2008

A Special Interest Group Affiliated with the
American Educational Research Association
Vol. 6, Issue 1 2008 Spring

Letter from the Rural Education SIG Chair

Hello Folks,

It is hard to believe that another year has come and gone and we are preparing for our annual meeting this year in New York. It is also hard to believe that I have been in this position now for three years.

I believe according to our constitution it is time for me to step down and for someone else to take on the role of SIG Chair. I would encourage you all to give this some thought and come to our annual business meeting with the idea of putting your name forward for Chair or to make a nomination for someone else. The annual business meeting is scheduled for 6:15 pm Wednesday, March 26, 2008, at 6:15pm at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Executive Conference Centre, Conference Room F, Lower Lobby.

I want to thank Pat Hardre for the exemplary job she has done putting together this year’s program of papers and presentations. This is probably the most demanding task associated with the SIG and the one that really is its life’s blood. It is the sharing of and discussing our work that gives the SIG its reason for being.

There are a total of seven sessions each of which looks very interesting and well worth attending. I want to also thank those who have served as reviewers and who have volunteered to be chairs and respondents at the SIG sessions. Every one is needed to make this vital part of our organization work.

I had an email message last week from Paul Theobald providing me with information regarding this year’s Dissertation Awards. We all appreciate the time and devotion Paul has given to this task. I thank him and his committee, Mary Frances Agnello and Christine Reed, most sincerely.

This years awards go to:

1. Erin Seaton
2. Michael Barbour
3. Donna Watson

I hope that many of you are planning to attend this year’s AERA meeting in New York, and please do try to make it to our business meeting. If there are any issues that you think the SIG needs to address, please send me an email, and I will put them on the agenda.

Michael Barbour continues to do a fantastic job with the SIG Website. Michael has recently completed his Ph.D. program at Georgia and is now an Assistant Professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. I think we have the best website of any of the SIGs. Congratulations, Michael.

Invitation to Dinner
It has become a tradition during my time as Chair for members of the SIG to go out to dinner after our business meeting. I have consulted with our treasurer, Kathleen, and she assures me that depending on how many of you take up the invitation we can pay for all or a good portion your meal. We are open to suggestions as to where we might go; so if you wish to recommend a place please get in touch.

It has been a real pleasure and honour to serve as your Chair. I want to thank those who actually do the work that makes the SIG work who have made my job quite easy. I wish my successor all the best.

Dennis Mulcahy

JRRE Moves to Penn State

The Journal of Research in Rural Education has moved as of January 2008 from the College of Education at the University of Maine, where it was based for the last 25 years (and the last 15 under the editorship of Ted Colodarci) to Penn State, where it is now housed within the Center on Rural Education and Communities. Kai Schafft now serves as editor along with associate editors Jacqueline Edmondson and Tom Farmer. Erin McHenry-Sorber serves as managing editor and Trudi Haupt is assistant to the editor. The new journal website is located at: jrre.psu.edu.
As indicated on the website, the Journal of Research in Rural Education is a peer-reviewed, open access e-journal publishing original pieces of scholarly research of demonstrable relevance to educational issues within rural settings. JRRE was established in 1982 by the University of Maine College of Education and Human Development. The website also notes that editors welcome single-study investigations, historical and philosophical analyses, research syntheses, theoretical pieces, and policy analyses from multiple disciplinary and methodological perspectives. Manuscripts may address a variety of issues including (but not limited to): the interrelationships between rural schools and communities; the sociological, historical, and economic context of rural education; rural education and community development; learning and instruction; preservice and inservice teacher education; educational leadership, and; educational policy. Book reviews and (occasionally) brief commentary on recently published JRRE articles are also welcome.

ARCC Announces a Free Webcast Opportunity

The Appalachia Regional Comprehensive Center (ARCC) plans a webcast for Thursday, March 20, 2008, 2:;00pm to 3:00 Eastern time. Participation is free for all who register at the website: www.arcc.edvantia.org. The webcast will describe how state departments of education and others can help rural communities capitalize on the advantages of rural places in order to address their particular education challenges. Rural schools and districts face unique opportunities and challenges by virtue of their rural circumstances. Recruiting and retaining teachers and administrators in rural schools, providing high-quality professional development, accommodating increased rural diversity, and ensuring adequate resource provision to economically challenged rural schools are among the issues for discussion.
This interactive webcast format enables the participants to take an active role. Persons wanting to voice ideas about rural issues should respond to the online survey during the webcast. Webcast participants can submit questions during the session also, and the panelists will answer during the Q/A session on the webcast. This provides a unique opportunity to interact with experts in the field of rural education.
The panel will address questions such as: What current policies and issues affect rural education? What are the implications of current policies for rural schools in Appalachia and across the nation? What can educators do to meet the changing needs of learners in our rural schools? Presenters include: Doris Williams, Director of Capacity Building, The Rural School and Community Trust: Jerry Johnson, Research Director, Center for Educational Research in Appalachia/Assistant Professor, Eastern Kentucky University, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies; and Erin McHenry-Sorber, Managing Editor, Journal of Research in Rural Education. Caitlin Howley, Co-Director, Institute for the Advancement of Research in Education (IARE) and Associate Director, Appalachia Regional Comprehensive Center (ARCC) organizes and coordinates the webcast. Again, free participation. Register: www.arcc.edvantia.org.

AERA Program Organized

The Rural Education Special Interest Group program chair, Patricia Hadre, organized eight meeting sessions during the 2008 Annual Conference. This New York conference begins Monday, March 14 and ends March 28. The eight sessions outlined below appear in order by day of presentation.

1. Session: Revisiting a Rural Sense of Place
Paper Session
Monday, March 24, 12:00pm-1:30pm, Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, Madison Suite 5, 5th Floor
Place Bound: Evaluating the Influence of a Transformative Pedagogy on Aspiring Rural Leaders. Kathleen M. Budge, Boise State University

Changing Places, Changing Spaces: Globalization, Rural Transformations, Mobility, and Ambivalence in Youth Educational Decision Making. Michael Corbett, Acadia University

Student Performance in Virtual Schooling: Looking Beyond the Numbers. Dennis M. Mulcahy, Memorial University; Michael Kristopher Barbour, Wayne State University

The Dakota Diaspora: The Out-Migration of Honor Students from One Rural Community. Kristi J. Stricker, Concordia University

What Matters Around Here: A Community Study of Rural Education, Poverty, and Policy. Angela Marie Kirby, Spring Arbor University

Discussant: Andrea D. Beesley (McREL)
Chair: Christopher Stapel, University of Kentucky

2. Session: Identification and Assimilation of Cultural and Rural Values
Paper Session
Tuesday, March 25, 10:35am-12:05pm, Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, Madison Suite 5, 5th Floor
Building Rural Social Capital Through High School Agri-Science Programs. Michael J. Martin, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign; Anna Leigh Ball, University of Florida

Casualties of Globalization and NCLB: a Case Study of Highly Transient Youth in Rural Schools. Kai A. Schafft, The Pennsylvania State University; Kieran M. Killeen, University of Vermont

Motivational Characteristics of Native and Nonnative Students in Rural Public High Schools. Patricia Hadre, The University of Oklahoma

Strategies for Upward Social Mobility for Low-Income Rural Students. John Maddaus, University of Main; Elyse Margrette Pratt-Ronco, Boston College

What Price Success? Schools and Assimilation in Appalachia. Arlie C. Woodrum, Ohio University

Discussant: Mary Jean R. Herzog, Western Carolina University
Chair: Marilyn L. Grady, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

3. Session: Rural Education Across Cultures and Life Stages
Poster Session
Tuesday, March 25, 12:25pm-1:55pm, Hilton New York, Americas Hall, 3rd Floor
College Going and College Choice Among First-Generation Rural College Students.
Sarah Armstrong Tucker, University of Michigan

High-Achieving, High-Poverty Rural High Schools and Their Communities: A Transformative Mixed-Methods Study. Perri J. Applegate, The University of Oklahoma

How a Dual-Level Early Reading Intervention Affected Rural Teachers’ Ratings of Students’ Literacy Skills. Steven J. Amendum, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Mamie C. Ginsberg, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

School-University Partnerships: Can We Improve the School Placement Experience? Nerissa Margaret Albon, Monash University

Technology Infusion in a Rural School System: A Case Study from Pennsylvania. Robert J. Wright, Widener University

The Impact of Rural Education on Life Outcomes: A Report from the Longitudinal Study of American Youth. Jon D. Miller, Michigan State University; Linda G. Kimmel, Michigan State University; Marian Mitchell, Michigan State University

What does it mean to be Rural? Subjectivity, Friction, and the Elementary Sciences Reform Act. Karen Eppley, The Pennsylvania State University

Rural Education of Latinos. Claudia Peralta Nash, Boise State University; Leticia Alvarez, The University of Utah; Francisco A. Rios, University of Wyoming; Arturo Rodriguez, Boise State University; Maria E. Franquiz, University of Texas, San Antonio

4. Session: Communities and Conditions Driving Rural Teacher Education and Practice
Paper Discussion
Wednesday, March 26, 8:15am-8:55am, Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, Metropolitan Ballroom , Metropolitan East, 2nd Floor
Communities, Place, and Schools: Insights From Rural NSW. Colin Robert Boylan, Charles Sturt University; Andrew R. Wallace, Charles Sturt University

Creating Learning Communities through Online Professional Development to Enhance Teachers’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge. Jo A. Cady, The University of Tennessee; Kristin Rearden, The University of Tennessee; Thomas Edward Hodges, The University of Tennessee

Financing Rural Schools: 16th Section Woes. Jack G. Blendinger, Mississippi State University

How Life Experiences Shape the Perspective of Rural Superintendents. Melissa B. Rivers, Arizona State University

Investigating Rural and Nonrural Small-School Contexts: Implications for Education Policy, Practice, and Research. Dylan L. Robertson, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Kerrylin Lambert, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Amanda L. Gentry, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Michael J. Penkunas, University of California-Davis

Issue of Time and Resource Allocation: Development of Professional Learning Communities in Small Rural Schools. James Buck Gilcrease, Haskill ISD; Danna M. Beaty, Tarleton State University.

What Needs to be in a Pre-Service Rural Education Subject? Colin Robert Boylan, Charles Sturt University

5. Session: Teaching and Administrative Assets and Challenges in Rural Contexts
Paper Session
Wednesday, March 26, 12:25pm-1:55pm, Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, Madison Suite 5, 5th Floor
Will the Real “Open-Door Policy” Please Stand Up: Superintendent-Board Communication in Two Effective Rural Districts. Aimee a. Howley, Ohio University; Larry Burgess, Ohio University; Marged Howley, Ohio University; Sidney Jones, Ohio University

Teacher Recruitment and Retention in Rural South Dakota. Wendy S. Emo, University of York

Bridging the Rural-Urban Divide: Exploring the Professional Needs of High School Mathematics Teachers. Debra L. Panizzon, Flinders University; John E. Pegg, University of New England

Leadership in Australian Rural Schools: Bush Track, Fast Track. Lorraine J. Graham, University of New England; Judith A. Miller, University of New England; David L. Paterson, University of New England

School-Community Links: Personal and Community-Level Integration of Rural Schools in Their Communities. John W. Sipple, Cornell University; Hope Casto, Cornell University; Sivilay Somchanhmavong, Cornell University

Discussant: Marilyn L. Grady, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Chair: Patricia L. Hardre, The University of Oklahoma

6. Session: Rural Education SIG BUSINESS MEETING
Wednesday, March 26, 6:15pm-7:45pm, Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, Executive Conference Center, Conference Room F, Lower Lobby

7. Session: Teaching and Learning in International Rural Contexts
Poster Session
Thursday, March 27, 8:15am-9:45am, Hilton New York, Americas Hall, 3rd Floor
A Distance Learning Cohort: The Impact of Reading Coursework on Reading Practices in a Rural School. Cynthia A. Lundeen, Florida State University; Marion Fesmire, Florida State University

A Multi-Faceted Investigation of Effective Teaching in Rural Schools. Andrea M. Lachance, SUNY-Cortland

Contributions of Student-Teacher Relationships to Early Reading Achievement Gains in Rural Schools, Jason C. Rose, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

The Role of a Case Study in Finding Solutions for Rural Education Problems in South Africa and Africa. Jurie Jacobus Joubert, Case Peninsula University of Technology

The Winds of Change: How Professional Development Influences Teacher Practice in Rural Areas. Essie Lom, University of New Brunswick

Every Voice Counts: Challenges Facing Teachers and Schools in Rural Communities Addressing Children’s Vulnerabilities in the Age of AIDS. Naydene De Lange, University of KwaZulu-Natal; Deevia Bhana, University of KwaZulu-Natal; Claudia A. Mitchell, McGill University

Zulu Men Demand Respect! What Do Male Teachers’ Accounts of Violence Mean for Working with Youth in the Context of HIV. Deevia Bhana, University of KwaZulu-Natal; Naydene De Lange, University of KwaZulu-Natal; Claudia A. Mitchell, McGill University

“If We Can All Work Together” in the Age of AIDS. Naydene De Lange, University of KwaZulu-Natal; Deeva Bhana, University of KwaZulu-Natal; Claudia A. Mitchell, McGill University

Youth as Knowledge Producers in Addressing HIV and AIDS in South Africa. Jean Stuart, University of KwaZulu-Natal; Rob Pattman, University of KwaZulu-Natal; Relebohile Molesane, University of KwaZulu-Natal; Naydene De Lange, University of KwaZulu-Natal; Claudia A. Mitchell, McGill University

8. Session: Thinking Novel Ways About Rural Education
Paper Discussion
Thursday, March 27, 3:05pm-3:445pm, Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers, Metropolitan Ballroom Metropolitan East, 2nd Floor
Examining Benefits from Literacy Resources in Rural Kindergarten and First-Grade Classrooms. Kristen Lynne Kainz, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Kelley L. Mayer, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Nathan A. Vandergrift, University of California-Irvine; Timothy Wood, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Rethinking Staff Policy and Professional Development in Rural Australia. Andrew R. Wallace, Charles Sturt University; Colin Robert Boylan, Charles Sturt University

2007-2008 Rural Education SIG Officers and Coordinators

SIG Chairperson SIG Program Chair
Dr. Dennis Mulcahy Dr. Patricia L. Hardre
dmulcahy@mun.ca hardre@ou.edu
Faculty of Education Department of Ed, Psychology
G.A Hickman Building University of Oklahoma
Memorial University of Norman, OK 73019-0390
Newfoundland Tele: (405) 325-8152
St. John’s NF CA
Tel: (709)737-7917

SIG Secretary/Treasurer
Dr. Kathleen T. Jorissen
Department of Educational
Leadership and Foundations
Western Carolina University
Cullowhee, NC 28723
Tele: (828)227-2456

Website Mgr. Awards Chair
Dr. Michael Barbour Dr. Paul Theobald
Wayne State University theobapg@buffalostate.edu
Woods-Beals chair in
Urban and Rural Education
Buffalo State Collee
Buffalo, NY 14222
Tele: (716)878-3911

Membership Coordinator Newsletter Editor
Dr. Kristine Reed Dr. Sharon Spall
kreed@usd.edu sharon.spall@wku.edu
Division of Curriculum & Instruction Department of Ad, Leadership,
School of Education Research
University of South Dakota Western Kentucky University
Vermilion, SD 57069 Bowling Green, KY 42101
Tel: (605)677-5831 Tel: (270)745-5190
FAX: (605)677-5438 FAX: (270)745-5445

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Monday, March 03, 2008


New Journal of Research in Rural Education Publication

The Journal of Research in Rural Education has just published vol. 23, number 2, a review by Jessica Hayes-Conroy of Place-Based Education in the Global Age: Local Diversity, edited by D. Gruenewald and G. Smith (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2008).

Vol. 23, number 2 may be accessed on line at the journal's website at: www.jrre.psu.edu.

* * *
The Journal of Research in Rural Education publishes research that is of demonstrable relevance to educational issues within rural settings. JRRE welcomes single-study investigations, historical and philosophical analyses, research syntheses, theoretical pieces, and policy analyses from multiple disciplinary perspectives. We welcome manuscripts concerning learning and instruction; preservice and inservice teacher education; educational leadership; educational policy; rural education and community development, and the cultural, historical, and economic context of rural education. Brief commentary on recently published JRRE articles is also appropriate.

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