According to the NCES, nearly one in four students attend rural schools. This research will examine the adverse effects that living in a rural school district have on testing scores, specifically in schools classified as being in impoverished areas. The foundation of this research relies on this assumption that rural schools will be less comprehensive than urban or suburban schools for a variety of reasons. Some of these include, but are not limited to, the fact that there is a greater lack of financial resources in rural schools due to decreased ability to raise funds, and that there will be a lack of specialty in rural schools. National policy as of late has been aimed at increasing school, and more specifically teacher accountability standards. Unfortunately, the model currently used as an accountability mechanism attributes a great deal of changes in student performance to the teachers without taking other factors into account. The goal of this research is to decrease the amount of variance attributed to teachers by increasing the number of factors included in this model. I will take into consideration the affect of population decline, persistent poverty, and difficulty transferring schools in order to decrease the amount of variance in student performance that is attributed to teachers.
William Oppermann, ’14
Sponsor: Joshua Poulette