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College of Education Dean Authors Article Concerning Education Policy in Rural Areas

Dean David Monk has authored “Recruiting and Retaining High Quality Teachers in Rural Areas” which appears in the March 2007 volume of The Future of Children: Excellence in the Classroom.

By Katlyn McGraw (March 2007)

monk.jpgUNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – College of Education Dean David Monk has authored “Recruiting and Retaining High Quality Teachers in Rural Areas” which appears in the March 2007 volume of The Future of Children: Excellence in the Classroom, published by The Brookings Institution and Princeton University as part of their series The Future of Children.

The editors of the volume approached Monk, he believes, because of his knowledge and previous research regarding rural education and rural education policy making.

“The Future of Children series addresses important policy issues and each volume is focused on a particular theme,” said Monk. “The series is quite visible within policy making circles and strives to provide research-based evidence that will be helpful to those who are involved in policy making.”

In his article, Monk addresses the profile of many rural schools: high teacher turnover, difficulty hiring qualified teachers, low compensation, transient populations, and populations of students with special needs.

Monk focuses attention on the challenges involved in recruiting and retaining qualified educators in rural schools. He also emphasizes the need to create policies specifically for “hard-to-staff rural schools” rather than a general policy for all rural schools.

Additionally, Monk addresses the creation of a national database to track students' academic progress. This database would be especially useful in monitoring students whose parents are migrant farm workers and need to travel frequently. Editors of the volume encourage authors to focus on the use of evidence to inform policy and convened an author conference held at Princeton University in spring 2006 where detailed feedback was provided.

“The experience was intellectually stimulating and involved quite an impressive group of authors from many different perspectives.”

The Future of Children: Excellence in the Classroom is expected to be made available to the public free of charge at the end of March at www.futureofchildren.org.