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Decision points and considerations for identifying rural districts that have closed student achievement gaps

by Shelley Billig and Michael Culbertson

Rural districts have long faced challenges in closing achievement gaps between subgroups of students. This brief report describes key decision points and considerations for decision-makers interested in identifying rural districts that have closed academic achievement gaps. Examining practices in these districts may suggest activities associated with making achievement gains and narrowing achievement gaps that can be systematically investigated. Examples from recent work with rural stakeholder groups in Colorado and Nebraska are used to highlight key issues in the identification process. The following six key considerations for identifying rural districts with narrowing achievement gaps are presented: (1) Which subgroup gaps should be examined?; (2) What counts as rural?; (3) Which measures should be used?; (4) What additional criteria should be considered?; (5) How should reductions in achievement gaps be measured?; and (6) How should measures be aggregated to create a single ranking of districts?

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Publication Information

Central | Publication Type: Descriptive Study | Publication
Date: January 2016

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