Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

The Jacksonville Community Council (JCCI) understands indicators and community change, with more than 25 years of producing the annual Quality of Life Progress Report for Jacksonville and the Northeast Florida region, and two decades of helping other communities develop their own sustainable indicators projects. JCCI consultants give you the information you need to measure progress, identify priorities for action, and assess results.

I'd like to talk with you personally about how we can help. E-mail me at
ben@jcci.org, call (904) 396-3052, or visit CommunityWorks for more information. From San Antonio to Siberia, we're ready and willing to assist.


Friday, August 3, 2007

Measuring Rural Education

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.

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