Posts Tagged "rural schools"

Rural Districts and Advanced Placement Courses

An August 2017 report from the Education Commission of the States and the College Board explores rural students’ access to and participation in Advanced Placement (AP) courses, as well as their performance on AP exams, relative to students who reside in urban and suburban areas. Below we summarize some key findings from the report, which relies on data collected across 15 school years (i.e., 2000-01 to 2014-15):

  • Access to AP courses has increased significantly for rural students. In 2001, only 56% of rural high school seniors had access to at least one AP course; by 2015, this percentage had increased to 73% of high school seniors.
  • While access to AP courses improved for rural students (73%), it still lagged that of urban (92%) and suburban (95%) students in 2015.
  • Of the rural high school seniors who had access to at least one AP course in 2015, only 31% took an AP exam. This compares with 40% of urban and 39% of suburban high school seniors.
  • On average, rural students earned an AP exam score of 2.6, compared with 2.73 for urban students and 2.98 for suburban students in 2015. Note that AP exams use a standardized score that ranges from 1 to 5, with a score of 5 indicating the highest level of performance. Scores of 3 or higher are often awarded college credit by post-secondary institutions. [Read more…]
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A Timesaving Strategy for Effective Lesson Planning

My son and daughter attend a rural school district where most teachers wear multiple hats.  For example, my son’s math teacher is also a football, basketball, and baseball coach requiring him to stay at school until at least 7:00 pm most nights, and on game day he’s there until the team returns, which is often after 10:30 pm. Then, he’s back at school by 7:00 the next morning.

The challenges in this rural school are not unique; in every rural district, teachers juggle many professional responsibilities unrelated to the courses they teach.  writingWhen, then, do they have time to ensure that their lessons implement the state standards with fidelity? The materials used in a lesson will either help students learn the knowledge and skills the standards require or distract them, undermining the lesson’s effectiveness. [Read More…]

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