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 Pub Number  Title  Date
NCES 2019099 Career and Technical Education Coursetaking in 2013, by Locale
This Data Point examines coursetaking in career and technical education among public school graduates from city, suburban, town, and rural high schools.
9/10/2019
NCES 2019016 Study of the Title I, Part A Grant Program Mathematical Formulas
Study of the Title I, Part A Grant Program Mathematical Formulas examines the distribution of Title I funds to understand how the current formulas affect various types of districts, such as large or small districts, those in poor or rich areas, and those in urban or rural areas. The report compares districts across the 12 NCES geographic locales, ranging from large cities to remote rural areas.
5/8/2019
REL 2019001 Teacher retention, mobility, and attrition in Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota
This report describes rural and nonrural teacher movement within and out of public school systems in Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota. All four states have high proportions of rural districts and schools. The authors used administrative data provided by state education agencies to examine the percentages of teachers who stayed in the same school, moved to a different school or district, or left a teaching position. Results suggest that the proportions of stayers, movers, and leavers in these states were similar to national statistics and varied substantially across districts within states.
3/11/2019
NCES 2017098 Student Access to Digital Learning Resources Outside of the Classroom
Student Access to Digital Learning Resources Outside of the Classroom draws upon nationally representative data sources, existing research, and relevant state and local intervention efforts to examine the five research areas designated in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and to provide a comprehensive picture of student access to digital learning resources outside of the classroom.
4/4/2018
REL 2017273 Opportunities for teacher professional development in Oklahoma rural and nonrural schools
The purpose of this study was to fill the gap in statewide information about teacher professional development opportunities in Oklahoma and compare the opportunities in rural and nonrural schools. The Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest, along with members of the Oklahoma Rural Schools Research Alliance, developed a survey that measured how professional development is structured, how it is planned, and what supports and barriers teachers may face in accessing professional development. The sampling frame was obtained from the website of the Oklahoma State Department of Education. Principals from 1,609 public elementary and secondary schools in Oklahoma were invited to participate in the online universe survey. The Office of Educational Quality and Accountability administered the survey in spring 2016, and 51.3 percent of the principals completed the survey. A nonresponse bias analysis was conducted, and nonresponse weights were created. All the results were adjusted by the nonresponse weights. In the descriptive results, Oklahoma schools are divided into rural versus nonrural schools using the urban-centric locale classification in the 2013/14 Common Core Data. The results report differences between rural and nonrural schools if they are significant at the p < .05 level based on a t-test and if the difference is at least 5 percentage points. Results indicate that the majority of rural schools in Oklahoma offer multiple types of professional development structures for teachers, such as conferences and workshops. However, rural schools offer fewer types than do nonrural schools. The biggest barrier that keeps both rural and nonrural teachers from attending any type of professional development is scheduling conflicts with other school or professional activities, and the barrier is more prevalent for rural teachers. The findings of this study show that rural schools provide a substantial amount of support for their teachers’ professional development, but the support is less likely in rural schools than in nonrural schools to be provided by peers (e.g., common planning and collaboration time, teacher-led coaching and mentoring, and collaborative learning). Rural schools could look for ways to increase collaborative learning between teachers so that teachers can support and mentor each other. Taking greater advantage of online resources could help rural schools supplement local, in-person professional development.
9/19/2017
REL 2017233 Stated Briefly: Postsecondary education expectations and attainment of rural and nonrural students
This "Stated Briefly" report is a companion piece that summarizes the findings from another report (REL 2017-257).This study examined rural–nonrural differences in postsecondary educational expectations and the attainment of expectations for grade 10 students attending rural and nonrural high schools in the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest region and how these differences compare with rural–nonrural differences in the rest of the nation. For grade 10 students who indicated that they did not anticipate attaining more than a high school education, the study also examined rural and nonrural students' reasons for not expecting to continue their education past the secondary level. Analyses drew on data from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 using descriptive statistics, chi-squared tests of association, and multinomial regression models with students nested in schools. The baseline model included only school locale, an indicator for region, and their interaction as predictors; subsequent models added student predictors, family characteristics, teacher expectations, and school contextual variables. Analyses reveal that rural students in the Midwest had lower educational expectations than their nonrural peers, yet similar levels of educational attainment after taking into account student, family, teacher, and school characteristics. For two-thirds of rural and nonrural students, educational attainment fell short of expectations. Importantly, participation in rigorous coursework, parent aspirations, and teacher expectations were more predictive of educational expectations and attainment than whether students grew up in rural areas in grade 10 in 2002. For grade 10 students who did not expect to go to college, both rural and nonrural students perceived financial barriers as the primary reason. Policymakers and other stakeholders in Midwestern states and the rest of the nation can use the results of this study to inform efforts to improve the educational attainment of rural students.
3/8/2017
REL 2017257 Postsecondary education expectations and attainment of rural and nonrural students
This study examined rural–nonrural differences in postsecondary educational expectations and the attainment of expectations for grade 10 students attending rural and nonrural high schools in the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest region and how these differences compare with rural–nonrural differences in the rest of the nation. For grade 10 students who indicated that they did not anticipate attaining more than a high school education, the study also examined rural and nonrural students' reasons for not expecting to continue their education past the secondary level. Analyses drew on data from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 using descriptive statistics, chi-squared tests of association, and multinomial regression models with students nested in schools. The baseline model included only school locale, an indicator for region, and their interaction as predictors; subsequent models added student predictors, family characteristics, teacher expectations, and school contextual variables. Analyses reveal that rural students in the Midwest had lower educational expectations than their nonrural peers, yet similar levels of educational attainment after taking into account student, family, teacher, and school characteristics. For two-thirds of rural and nonrural students, educational attainment fell short of expectations. Importantly, participation in rigorous coursework, parent aspirations, and teacher expectations were more predictive of educational expectations and attainment than whether students grew up in rural areas in grade 10 in 2002. For grade 10 students who did not expect to go to college, both rural and nonrural students perceived financial barriers as the primary reason. Policymakers and other stakeholders in Midwestern states and the rest of the nation can use the results of this study to inform efforts to improve the educational attainment of rural students.
3/8/2017
REL 2016171 Stated Briefly: Reshaping rural schools in the Northwest Region: Lessons from federal School Improvement Grant implementation
This "Stated Briefly" report is a companion piece that summarizes the results of another report of the same name. This study examines implementation of the School Improvement Grant (SIG) transformation model in rural regions, exploring challenges in implementation and technical assistance to support these efforts. This study is not part of the federal evaluation of the SIG, which provides more comprehensive information about SIG schools. Leaders participating in research alliances with REL Northwest and other regional stakeholders requested this study to learn more about how implementation of the SIG transformation model has played out in rural schools across the nation.

Researchers used data from the first cohort of the U.S. Department of Education's SIG baseline database to administer a survey addressing four research questions: 1) How did principals of rural SIG transformation schools rate their school's implementation of the requirements of the transformation model?; 2) To what extent do principals report challenges to implementation of the transformation model?; 3) To what extent do principals report their school received technical assistance for the implementation of the transformation model?; and 4) To what extent are principals' reports of challenges and technical assistance related to implementation? The survey was sent to all cohort 1 SIG principals of rural schools using the transformation model—a group that represented 42 states and Bureau of Indian Education schools. The final sample size was 135 principals (67 percent of the 201 schools where staff members who worked under SIG were still present). All surveyed principals worked in schools that were similar in size and student characteristics to the total sample.

Principal responses highlight challenges in both implementation and technical assistance. The results confirm previous research, by finding that certain elements of the transformation model are challenging for rural schools to implement—particularly, those related to ensuring high-quality staff and family and community engagement. The study also finds that principals are more likely to implement strategies for which they receive technical assistance; at the same time, they implement fewer strategies that present challenges. This suggests that rural schools working on improvement strategies need help beyond just grant funding.
8/23/2016
NCES 2016144 The Condition of Education 2016
NCES has a mandate to report to Congress on the condition of education by June 1 of each year. The Condition of Education 2016 summarizes important developments and trends in education using the latest available data. The 2016 report presents 43 key indicators on the status and condition of education and are grouped under four main areas: (1) population characteristics, (2) participation in education, (3) elementary and secondary education, and (4) postsecondary education. Also included in the report are 3 Spotlight indicators that provide a more in-depth look at some of the data.
5/26/2016
REL 2016107 Reshaping rural schools in the Northwest Region: Lessons from federal School Improvement Grant implementation
This study examines implementation of the School Improvement Grant (SIG) transformation model in rural regions, exploring challenges in implementation and technical assistance to support these efforts. This study is not part of the federal evaluation of the SIG, which provides more comprehensive information about SIG schools. Leaders participating in research alliances with REL Northwest and other regional stakeholders requested this study to learn more about how implementation of the SIG transformation model has played out in rural schools across the nation.

Researchers used data from the first cohort of the U.S. Department of Education's SIG baseline database to administer a survey addressing four research questions: 1) How did principals of rural SIG transformation schools rate their school's implementation of the requirements of the transformation model?; 2) To what extent do principals report challenges to implementation of the transformation model?; 3) To what extent do principals report their school received technical assistance for the implementation of the transformation model?; and 4) To what extent are principals' reports of challenges and technical assistance related to implementation? The survey was sent to all cohort 1 SIG principals of rural schools using the transformation model—a group that represented 42 states and Bureau of Indian Education schools. The final sample size was 135 principals (67 percent of the 201 schools where staff members who worked under SIG were still present). All surveyed principals worked in schools that were similar in size and student characteristics to the total sample.

Principal responses highlight challenges in both implementation and technical assistance. The results confirm previous research, by finding that certain elements of the transformation model are challenging for rural schools to implement—particularly, those related to ensuring high-quality staff and family and community engagement. The study also finds that principals are more likely to implement strategies for which they receive technical assistance; at the same time, they implement fewer strategies that present challenges. This suggests that rural schools working on improvement strategies need help beyond just grant funding.
5/18/2016
REL 2016130 Decision points and considerations for identifying rural districts that have closed student achievement gaps
Rural districts have long faced challenges in closing the achievement gap between high-poverty students and their more affluent peers. This research brief outlines key decision points and considerations for state and district decisionmakers who wish to identify rural districts that have closed academic achievement gaps. Examining these districts’ experiences with organizational and instructional policies and practices may suggest activities associated with making achievement gains and narrowing achievement gaps that can be systematically investigated. Key issues in the process are highlighted by examples from recent work with rural stakeholder groups in Colorado and Nebraska.
4/26/2016
REL 2015076 Comparing postsecondary enrollment and persistence among rural and nonrural students in Oregon
This REL Northwest study examined whether rural students at all achievement levels were less likely than their nonrural counterparts to enroll in college and persist to the second year. The researchers analyzed college enrollment patterns and persistence among rural and nonrural Oregon high school students, as well as variations among different types of students. The study found that rural students were less likely than nonrural students to enroll in college at any time after high school. In addition, rural and nonrural students were equally likely to enroll in college immediately after high school. Finally, rural students were less likely to persist into their second year of college than nonrural students.
5/26/2015
REL 2015066 Stated Briefly: Gearing up to teach the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics in the rural Northeast Region
This study describes key challenges and necessary supports related to implementation of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) identified by rural math educators in the Northeast. The research team interviewed state and district math coordinators and surveyed teachers in Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont, to assess their most pressing challenges and associated needs. Key challenges included time and support for teachers to change their instructional practices to meet the CCSSM, availability of high-quality instructional materials, and opportunities for collaboration. The report was produced in response to input from the Northeast Rural Districts Research Alliance (NRDRA), one of eight research alliances working with REL Northeast & Islands. This “Stated Briefly” report is a companion piece that summarizes the results of another report entitled Gearing up to teach the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics in rural Northeast Region schools, released on November 12, 2014.
12/9/2014
REL 2015031 Gearing up to teach the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics in rural Northeast Region schools
This study describes key challenges and necessary supports related to implementation of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM) identified by rural math educators in the Northeast. The research team interviewed state and district math coordinators and surveyed teachers in Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont, to assess their most pressing challenges and associated needs. Key challenges included time and support for teachers to change their instructional practices to meet the CCSSM, availability of high-quality instructional materials, and opportunities for collaboration. The report was produced in response to input from the Northeast Rural Districts Research Alliance (NRDRA), one of eight research alliances working with REL Northeast & Islands.
11/12/2014
REL 2015045 Online and Distance Learning in Southwest Tennessee: Implementation and Challenges
The purpose of this study was to increase the understanding among members of the Southwest Tennessee Rural Education Cooperative (SWTREC), a coalition of superintendents from 12 districts (half of which are rural) surrounding Memphis, about the online and distance-learning courses offered by schools that compose the Cooperative. Data for this report were collected through an online questionnaire administered by districts in the SWTREC in April 2013 and completed by one person from each participating school. Seventeen of the twenty-one high schools within the SWTREC districts responded to the survey. More than 80 percent of responding schools reported offering online or distance-learning courses in school year 2012/13. On average, schools provided more online than distance-learning courses, and they had higher enrollments in online courses. Both online and distance-learning courses were used to provide students with access to dual enrollment courses. Schools that offered online courses most often identified the opportunity for students to accelerate credit accumulation as a "very important" reason for offering the courses. Technological limitations – both the availability of technology and restricted periods when technology was available – were barriers schools perceived in offering online and distance-learning courses.
11/12/2014
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