The only organization dedicated solely to helping state boards advance equity and excellence in public education.

January 2021Volume 21, No. 1
Equity in Rural Education

Rural schools are the heart of community life, but they face significant challenges that the pandemic has only magnified. The January 2021 issue explores the state board of education and policymaker role in many of these factors: a lack of resources, cultural and virtual isolation, poverty and demographic trends, educator recruitment and retention, and risks to student health and well-being.

Equity in Rural Education

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.


Image Credit: iStock

The NASBE Interview: Fern Desjardins, Robin Stevens, and Sandra Kowalski

By Fern Desjardins, Robin Stevens and Sandra Kowalski

The rural perspective needs to be brought to the state board. There are so many implications.

Business meeting handshake. Image credit: iStock

NCOSEA Voice: What State Education Agencies Need to Know about FERPA

By Julie C. Tolleson

State boards can set the vision for sharing data to serve the interests of students, families, and schools.

Woman talking on panel at meeting. Image credit: iStock

State Board Voice: School Meals: A Basic Ingredient for Equity

By Pamela L. Davis-Vaught

A critical lifeline now, school meals will continue to help level the playing field for future generations of students.

Image Credit: iStock

We the Media: Family Engagement during the Pandemic

By Renée Rybak Lang

State boards should seize every opportunity to help schools strengthen bonds with families.

Woman talking on panel at meeting. Image credit: iStock

From the President’s Pen: Mind the Gaps

By Robert Hull

Where are the access and opportunity gaps that you need to bridge in your state?

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.
A multi-ethnic group of seven children standing in a row in a school hallway, laughing and smiling at the camera. The little boys and girls are kindergarten or preschool age, 4 to 6 years. 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.
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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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