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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

 

Rural Reminder

You know you've made it when...you get invited to The Daily Show. Bill Bishop, co-editor of the online rural newspaper The Daily Yonder, was recently interviewed by John Stewart about his new book, The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart.
The Daily Yonder is always interested in pieces about rural education research, so feel free to submit one yourself. Could lead to your own 15 minutes with John!

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

 

Rural Reminder

The Rural Trust has launched a collaborative process to develop a National Rural Education Policy Agenda (NREPA), the first of its kind. Five subcommittees will work to draft the document, due November 1, 2008: Community Revitalization, Curriculum, Environmental Policy, School Finance, and Student Success. The documents will then be presented for debate and adoption at the 2009 Rural Education Working Group conference.

All rural folks are invited to participate. To sign up, email the Trust at ruraltrust@verizon.net and let them know which subcommittee you're interested in.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

 

Rural Reminder


Help out a rural colleague--complete a survey!

First is a survey for rural superintendents. The purpose of the instrument is to solicit practicing superintendents' rankings of areas that should be included in a leadership preparation program. Results will be shared at the Research Forum at the National Rural Education Association this fall in San Antonio, Texas.


Second is a survey being pilot tested by Robin Mabry Hubbard, a doctoral candidate in the Rural Sociology Department at the University of Missouri – Columbia. The survey seeks to investigate the relationship between rurality, the Internet, and social ties. Robin invites folks to take the pilot survey and comment on the pre-release questionnaire, which is open for testing until Tuesday, July 22 at midnight and requires the password, "rural" (no quotation marks). Respondents can also elect to receive a summary of the results in late Fall 2008.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

 

Rural schools close book on dial-up Internet

This was in my Bloglines (i.e., RSS feed reader) today.
Rural schools close book on dial-up Internet - FRANK ARMSTRONG, WHIG-STANDARD

The last three schools in the Limestone Board still using painfully slow dial-up Internet services will soon go high-speed, thanks to a $1.7-million collaboration between the Ontario government, Utilities Kingston and two local economic development agencies. Clarendon Central Public School in Plevna, North Addington Education Centre in Cloyne, and Land 'o' Lakes Public School in Mountain Grove will all have access to wireless Internet networks after five new towers are built, said Campbell Patterson, the project's manager at Utilities Kingston. "We expect to have them up and operating before the end of August," Patterson said.... In addition to the five new towers, Utilities Kingston has already built 11 towers to service local schools and other public service organizations. Internet service providers are also using those towers to provide wireless Internet access to some of the area's more remote communities, Patterson said.
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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

 

Rural Reminder


The Daily Yonder recently posted a story about the Growing Tennessee: Rural Youth Cultivate Common Ground project in which Appalachian and Hispanic migrant youth learn photography skills from professional photographers and then photograph their worlds. The project also includes a writing component in which youth write artists' statements about their work. Student work has been displayed at local colleges and galleries, in a variety of publications, and at the National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association Conference in February 2008.

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

 

Rural Systemic Initiative Celebrates 10 Years of Success

An announcement from Edvantia:

Dr. Keith Smith, director of the Coalfield Rural Systemic Initiative at Edvantia, announces a forum and luncheon designed to celebrate 10 years of success by the nation’s Rural Systemic Initiative (RSI) projects, funded by the National Science Foundation. The Forum on Leveraging a Legacy of Leadership in Mathematics and Science Education will present successes and lessons learned from projects that have helped small rural school districts make systemwide improvements. These improvements have created new opportunities for teacher leadership and have improved student achievement in mathematics and science. The forum will be held on July 16, 2008, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Room 2325 of the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC.

To assure adequate mathematics and science expertise to sustain our national leadership in innovation and scientific enterprises, we must illuminate and reflect on important lessons learned about improving mathematics and science teaching, learning, and leadership. The Rural Systemic Initiative has help to make such improvements in some of the least advantaged and most rural schools in America, schools that educate over 30 percent of our nation’s K-12 students.

The forum will showcase presentations by two panels. The first will include six RSI practitioners from Alaska, Kentucky, Mississippi, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming. They are teacher leaders, a principal, a superintendent, district coordinators, and staff from an institution of higher education. Each practitioner will talk about how they have used leadership capacity to make and sustain mathematics and science education improvements that would not have been possible without the professional and personal development provided through their RSI experience.

The second panel will feature representatives from key agencies that have a high level of involvement in mathematics and science education. These agencies include the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and U.S. Department of Energy. The panelists will be asked to consider the presentations of the practitioner panel and suggest ways that their agencies’ education programs in rural areas could link to and/or benefit from the legacy of the RSI projects.

To register for the forum or sign up to receive a copy of the proceedings after the event, go to http://www.edvantia.org/about/news/index.cfm?&t=news&c=forum080716

You may also want to read A Legacy of Leadership and Lessons Learned: Results from the Rural Systemic Initiatives for Improving Mathematics and Science Education. This report is available for free download at http://www.edvantia.org/products/pdf/RSI_Report_0706.pdf.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

 

A recent multi-method study of Oklahoma schools by Perri Applegate finds that the factors influencing student achievement in high-poverty rural schools are not the same as those affecting achievement in high-poverty urban schools. The regression model used does a far better job explaining variance in the achievement of kids in non-rural schools than it does explaining that of rural schools. The qualitative component of the study suggests that community involvement and shared staff commitment to academic excellence differentiate between high- and low-achieving rural schools. Interestingly, high achieving rural school staff tended to think of their rural circumstances as assets to their work, whereas low achieving school staff saw rurality as a handicap.

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