RAISING RURAL: A FAIR CHANCE AT A GOOD LIFE
Join us November 11–12, 2021, at the JW Marriott in Indianapolis, Indiana. This year, the 2021 National Forum to Advance Rural Education is going hybrid, which means we will host an in-person event, and provide the option to attend virtually. A hybrid event allows attendees and presenters to select the format that works best for them.
Like always, the event is designed to create an environment for collaboration and innovation with a diverse community that includes, national experts, K–12 and higher education practitioners, leading researchers, policymakers, and philanthropic leaders.
By leading together, we can help communities innovate and leverage local assets to create meaningful learning experiences for rural students.
While the challenges of rural schools have been discussed at length, they also have unique opportunities for innovation. Not only do rural schools act as centers for learning, but they serve their small towns as community hubs as well. Accordingly, rural schools are often better positioned to create opportunities for family engagement than their suburban and urban counterparts. This environment, coupled with the advantages of less bureaucracy and red tape than larger districts, has allowed rural schools to engage in some truly exciting, innovative work for students in recent years.
We have had excellent turnouts for the first four Crumbling Schools Tours and we appreciate the divisions who have been willing to host tours in their divisions. We also greatly appreciate our Summit and Tour sponsors for making this possible. If one of the remaining four tours is in your area (see attached), I hope you can attend and invite key decision-makers in your area to do the same. Even for the decision-makers who aren’t able to attend, there has been significant press coverage of the tours in local and national newspapers. I am including links to some of those below so feel free to share those articles with key decision-makers in your area.
As we approach the Special Session of the General Assembly, it is vital that we encourage our Legislators to support VDOE's recommendation to use $2.6 Billion of Virginia's Federal Discretionary ARPA funds for school infrastructure and to also extend the deadline to spend those funds to 2026 if they are approved. It would also help to ask our U.S. Senators and Representatives to extend the current deadlines to 2026.
The National Center for Rural Education Research Networks builds the capacity of education agencies to undertake evidence-based continuous improvement in rural schools and districts. Through our work, we will increase the body of rigorous research and proven solutions in rural education.
The Rural Center’s network, launched in 2019 with funding from the Institute for Education Sciences (IES), includes 49 rural districts from across New York and Ohio
as well as their state education agencies, educational service agencies, and regional data centers. In the second phase of our work, we will expand the network to include three additional states in which we will implement successful interventions found to be effective during phase one.
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All manuscripts must demonstrate significance for rural education. In considering rural salience, reviewers are encouraged to consider four questions: 1. Does the manuscript support rural schools and communities in their education work? How will this manuscript matter to rural education practitioners, advocates, and researchers? Does this manuscript expand, strengthen, or complicate our understanding of rural education? Does the manuscript avoid stereotypes and add to an understanding of rural places as rich and complex?
It is only a mile from Madison Square to Union Square in New York City, and in 1880 this stretch of Broadway was one of the first electrically lighted streets in America and the world. A generation later in 1902, it was dubbed the Great White Way; the brilliance of the many illuminated signs captured the imagination of visitors from around the world. Fast-forward half a century when the brilliance and prosperity associated with electrification permeated most of the western world, but access was not equitably distributed. By 1934 nearly nine out of every ten farms in France and Germany had electricity while nine in ten American farms were still without. The energy that drove the many innovations of the Roaring Twenties was enriching and enlivening much of America, but for many, that prosperity was many miles away. Similarly, in 2020, access to prosperity is intricately connected to a community or an individual’s ability to connect with the World Wide Web. The dot-com expansion of the nineties opened doors for much of America and the world. Internet connectivity enhanced many aspects of people’s lives. Economically, supply chains were opened, encouraging productivity and innovation. Culturally, barriers to the global exchange of ideas were eradicated, and recipes, ideas, and fashions spread at record speed. Socially, people became connected in many new ways regardless of geography. Perhaps most importantly, the ability to learn about anything and everything has opened up to those with access. For the last thirty years, access to the internet has become the central measure of sophistication and affluence. Those with access are ahead of those who lack access in terms of their ability to achieve on almost every standard.
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