Rural Education

The typical image of California is one of coastal cities and urban centers. But this picture leaves out much of the state and many of its residents. For large numbers of policymakers, foundations, and education leaders, these parts of our large and diverse state are “invisible.” Over the past two decades, however, these communities have emerged as some of the fastest growing and neediest parts of our state. In this project, researchers investigate the conditions and opportunities in California’s rural schools and districts.

Publications

  • The Network Solution: How Rural District Networks Can Drive Continuous Improvement

    Thomas Timar, Allison Carter, Nicodemus Ford Policy Analysis for California Education October 2018

    Rural school districts face unique challenges in procuring funds, recruiting staff, and obtaining high-quality technical assistance. This environment creates problems in identifying high-quality instructional materials and implementing best practices. A collaborative learning network can address these challenges by providing access to professional development, collaborative time with peer districts, and economies of scale. This report discusses rural networks, specifically Pivot Learning’s Rural Professional Learning Network, can cost-effectively provide expertise and build a professional culture.

  • The Antelope Valley: Over the hill and out of sight

    Laura Steen Mulfinger, Allison Carter, Hannah Melnicoe Policy Analysis for California Education October 2017

    The typical image of California is one of coastal cities and urban centers. But this picture leaves out much of the state and many of its residents. For large numbers of policymakers, foundations, and education leaders, these parts of our large and diverse state are “invisible.” Over the past two decades, however, these communities have emerged as some of the fastest growing and neediest parts of our state.

  • Surprising Strengths and Substantial Needs: Rural District Implementation of Common Core State Standards

    Thomas Timar, Allison Carter Policy Analysis for California Education June 2017

    In August 2010, the California State Board of Education adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Three years later, the president of the State Board, Dr. Michael Kirst, noted that CCSS “changes almost everything,” including what teachers teach, how they teach, and what students are expected to learn (Kirst, 2013). Echoing his sentiments, Dr.

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