Last May, author Mara Tieken attended graduation at a high school in a small, mostly African-American town in the rural Arkansas Delta. This school is not much to look at. But for this rural town, it is everything: close relationships, strong academics, the community’s hope and future. Across the United States are thousands of rural schools just like this one, which against all odds are trying to make it work—a challenge that has only grown with the current pandemic.


Challenges Facing Schools in Rural America





Also In this Issue

Identifying Risks to the Well-Being of Rural Young Children and Families

By Sara L. Hartman

The pandemic compounded an array of preexisting health and wellness challenges in many communities.





Teacher Recruitment and Retention in Rural Colorado

By Kirk Banghart

Rural districts band together, with help from partners and grants, to attract and keep teaching staff.





Colorado’s Network for Local Accountability

By Kirk Banghart

A network of rural peers help districts design meaningful, timely, community-connected accountability.





Professional Learning in Appalachia

By Melissa Tooley and Sabia Prescott

Microcredentials show promise in overcoming the challenges of offering rural educators high-quality opportunities.






Challenges Facing Schools in Rural America

By Mara Casey Tieken and MK Montgomery

In schools accustomed to making a little go a long way, the pandemic increased the burden.





Online Learning for Rural Students

By Reg Leichty

Expanded rural broadband service can help overcome inequitable access to digital instruction.







Featured Items

Multiracial group of teachers walking in school hallway. Image credit: iStock i

Strengthening the Principal Pipeline through State Leadership Academies

Missouri, Delaware, and North Carolina have developed evidence-based professional learning for current and prospective school leaders to increase their effectiveness and reduce turnover.
Credit: istock i

State Advances in Early Childhood Education Seed Plans for 2024

In 2023, several states made significant strides toward universal pre-K, increased funding and support for early educators, and improved literacy and math instruction.
Business people sitting on books. Image credit: iStock i

Curriculum That Counts

Authors in this issue of the Standard draw lessons from a spectrum of state policies that are being used to increase the adoption of high-quality curriculum.

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