The National Center for Education Statistics has issued a new report, Status of Education in Rural America. In the section called Measuring Rural Education, they discuss the research and reasons for a new classification system to understand rural schools. The list of tables gives you direct access to the data in the report.
Highlights from the report include the following:
- In 2003-04, over half of all operating school districts and one-third of all public schools in the United States were in rural areas; yet only one-fifth of all public school students were enrolled in rural areas.
- A larger percentage of rural public school students in the 4th- and 8th-grades scored at or above the Proficient level on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading, mathematics, and science assessments in 2005 than did public school students in cities at these grade levels. However, smaller percentages of rural public school students than suburban public school students scored at or above the Proficient level in reading and mathematics.
- Current public school expenditures per student were higher in rural areas in 2003-04 than in any other locale after adjusting for geographic cost differences.
- In 2004, the high school status dropout rate (i.e., the percentage of persons not enrolled in school and not having completed high school) among 16- to 24-year-olds in rural areas was higher than in suburban areas, but lower than in cities.
While you're at the NCES site, be sure to check out the 2006 Digest of Education Statistics, just released on July 26. The latest reports and data from NCES can be found here. Don't miss the international education indicators either.