This second volume of The SEA of the Future examines how state leaders, challenged with having to make decisions on how to use limited resources, are faced with an uneasy zero-sum game--every dollar they put into one program is a dollar not spent in another. When state education agency chiefs suggest that public funds can be better spent, they are criticized--often unfairly. In short, leaders need to talk about how to better spend money in schools and districts; they need to prioritize productively.
Studying "productive districts--outliers because they get high outcomes for students at average spending levels or lower--reveals that being rural can actually be an advantage. State education agencies and leaders willing to examine rural education funding and return on investment can extract opportunities to improve productivity across their state."
"This chapter makes the case for why rural education should become a priority for state governments. Rural school systems and their students deserve attention, and states are uniquely position to support their improvement."
In this SEA of the Future publication by the Building State Capacity and Productivity Center (BSCP), the authors illustrate how rural schools and districts are uniquely poised to contribute to these efforts. Like their urban counterparts, rural schools and districts are being asked to stretch their dollars further but they are more likely to face limited economies of scale, difficult teacher labor markets, and inadequate access to time and money-saving technologies. And, while rural schools and districts educate millions of American students, they do so with less support and attention than their urban and suburban counterparts.
As with urban districts, there are examples of rural school districts and schools that are innovating how they deliver services to students, recruit teachers, use technology, and serve special populations. This volume details those efforts, provides potential solutions to challenges, and compels state leaders to keep the unique needs of rural education in mind when crafting policies that are often designed with urban and suburban districts in mind. The essays in this volume add to the scant information existing on rural education by discussing issues that are faced by all education systems, but within the context of rural education.
Parents seek for their children something other than what they usually expect them to acquire through the regular school program, and they turn to extracurricular activities and out-of-school experiences to find it. Teachers know that each student brings to a learning task a something other—certain attributes that affect how the student responds to the challenge. In this paper, the something other is the constellation of four personal competencies—cognitive, metacognitive, motivational, and social/emotional—and the learning habits that flow from them.
With chapters written by leading researchers and practitioners actively engaged in the work, this edited volume from the Center on School Turnaround examines the role of the state education agency in school turnaround efforts. An emphasis is placed on practical application of research and best practice related to the State Education Agency’s (SEA’s) critical leadership role in driving and supporting successful school turnaround efforts.