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Om Rural Education
The close-knit, personal nature of small rural communities results in school and community operating as a single integrated social structure. Useful rural school improvement strategies must, therefore, address needs that are recognized by both the local school and the community and must operate in a style congruent with the local setting. Although outside ideas and resources may contribute greatly to successful plans to improve rural schools, a high level of local involvement is essential in determining the specifics of those plans. This is clearly demonstrated by the thirteen case studies presented in this book, in which the strategies that have been effective over time in resolving rural school problems are distinguished by a high degree of local participation. The cases- chosen to provide good examples of particular strategies and also to represent the diversity that characterizes rural America-cover centrally designed, heavily funded programs as well as small-scale, locally initiated efforts in such areas as teacher training, the introduction of new curricula, and community participation in education decision making and political action. The final chapters analyze the case studies in practical terms and recommend policy and practice for future rural school improvement.