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 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 2021066 Alternative Career Readiness Measures for Small and Rural Districts in Texas

This study examined the extent to which Texas high school graduates, particularly graduates in small districts and rural districts, met college, career, and military readiness (CCMR) accountability standards. The study also examined whether graduates who did not meet CCMR accountability standards demonstrated career readiness via alternative career readiness options identified by the Texas Education Agency: career and technical education (CTE) completer, CTE concentrator, CTE explorer, CTE participant, and work-based learner. The study further explored whether graduates who did not meet CCMR accountability standards but who met the alternative career readiness options attained similar postsecondary college and career outcomes to graduates who met career readiness accountability standards.

The study used descriptive statistics to calculate the percentage of 2017–18 high school graduates in each of four mutually exclusive CCMR accountability standard categories: met a college ready accountability standard, met a career ready accountability standard, met a military ready accountability standard, and did not meet CCMR accountability standards. For graduates who did not meet CCMR accountability standards, the study team calculated the percentage of these graduates who demonstrated career readiness via alternative career readiness options. The study team used longitudinal data to compare postsecondary outcomes for graduates who met alternative career readiness options and graduates who met career readiness accountability standards.

2/22/2021
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 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 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
REL 2015053 College Enrollment and Persistence in Rural Pennsylvania Schools
The purpose of this study was to examine the college enrollment and persistence rates of rural high schools in Pennsylvania; the types of postsecondary institutions in which students from such schools enroll; and the student, school, and college characteristics associated with enrollment and persistence outcomes. The study used extant data from the National Student Clearinghouse, the National Center for Education Statistics, and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In phase I, descriptive statistics were conducted to compare rural and non-rural immediate and delayed college-going rates, persistence rates, and types of postsecondary enrollment. In phase II, variations among Pennsylvania rural schools with higher and lower college-going rates were examined by grouping schools into quartiles based on college enrollment rates, then comparing the characteristics of the different quartiles. In phase III, multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the individual and combined influence of student-, school-, and college-level variables on college enrollment and persistence rates. Results indicate that rural high schools have higher rates of enrollment than city schools, but lower rates than suburban and town schools; rural schools located in closer proximity to urban areas have better postsecondary outcomes than more remote rural schools; rural schools with higher rates of economically disadvantaged students tend to have lower enrollment and persistence rates; and, regardless of locale, Pennsylvania high schools send the large majority of their students to public 4-year colleges and in-state colleges. Results suggest that the lower enrollment and persistence rates are associated with factors identified in the literature as key influences, particularly poverty. Educators and policymakers should focus attention on economically disadvantaged rural students to improve college enrollment and persistence.
10/14/2014
NCEE 20144013 A Focused Look At Rural Schools Receiving School Improvement Grants
The Study of School Turnaround is a set of case studies of the school improvement process in a purposive sample of 35 schools receiving federal funds through the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program over a three-year period (school years 2010-11 to 2012-13). This evaluation brief focuses on the nine SIG schools that were in rural areas and how respondents in these schools perceived their rural context to influence specific turnaround activities. Key findings that emerged from the rural case study data collected in spring 2012 include:
  • Although rural SIG schools reported some challenges that nonrural SIG schools have also reported, such as low student motivation and staff morale, the rural schools reported additional challenges resulting from their schools' remote locations and large catchment areas. For example, respondents reported that these rural characteristics affected the recruitment or retention of teachers and, to a lesser extent, parents' involvement in the schools.
  • School and district administrators in eight of the nine schools suggested that long teacher commutes or isolated communities posed challenges to recruiting or retaining teachers. To counter these challenges, respondents in two schools reported offering direct support for teacher commutes (for example, gas stipends or vans), and respondents in three schools reported offering signing bonuses to incoming teachers.
  • School and district administrators and teaching staff in the nine schools mentioned multiple factors limiting parent involvement in school-based activities. Respondents from five schools perceived that a lack of access to transportation limited parent involvement, whereas respondents from three schools noted that the distance between schools and parents' homes was a contributing factor. Four schools focused on hiring or expanding the role of parent liaisons to increase parent involvement.
4/2/2014
REL 20124021 Access to Algebra I: The Effects of Online Mathematics for Grade 8 Students
This report presents findings from a randomized control trial designed to inform the decisions of policymakers who are considering using online courses to provide access to Algebra I in grade 8. It focuses on students judged by their schools to be ready to take Algebra I in grade 8 but who attend schools that do not offer the course. The study tested the impact of offering an online Algebra I course on students' algebra achievement at the end of grade 8 and their subsequent likelihood of participating in an advanced mathematics course sequence in high school. The study was designed to respond to both broad public interest in the deployment of online courses for K–12 students and to calls from policymakers to provide students with adequate pathways to advanced coursetaking sequences in mathematics (National Mathematics Advisory Panel 2008).
12/13/2011
REL 20114007 An Experimental Study of the Project CRISS Reading Program on Grade 9 Reading Achievement in Rural High Schools
Students entering high school face many new academic challenges. One of the most important is their ability to read and understand more complex text in literature, mathematics, science, and social studies courses as they navigate through a rigorous high school curriculum. The Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Northwest conducted a study to examine the effectiveness of a teacher professional development program called Project CRISS, which stands for Creating Independence through Student-owned Strategies. Through Project CRISS, high school teachers learn how to apply research-based learning principles and reading/writing strategies in all major subject or content areas using materials, training, and follow-up support provided by the developer. The ultimate goal of Project CRISS is to help students learn new ways to read and comprehend, practice reading and writing strategies in different classes, and eventually internalize and use successful reading and writing strategies independently, leading to improved reading comprehension.
4/11/2011
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