SEAs of the Future

Posted on May 18, 2015

The Building State Capacity and Productivity Center (BSCP Center) has released the fourth volume in in its publication series, "SEAs of the Future."  Click here to read the pdf document focusing on "Uncovering the Productivity Promise of Rural Education."

According to the BSCP Center, "The first three volumes of the SEA of the Future provided new mindsets and strategies for advancing productivity in state education agencies (SEAs). In this volume, the authors illustrate how rural schools and districts are uniquely poised to contribute to these efforts. Like their urban counterparts, rural schools and districts are being asked to stretch their dollars further but they are more likely to face limited economies of scale, difficult teacher labor markets, and inadequate access to time and money-saving technologies. And, while rural schools and districts educate millions of American students, they do so with less support and attention than their urban and suburban counterparts. As with urban districts, there are examples of rural districts and schools that are innovating how they deliver services to students, recruit teachers, use technology, and serve special populations. This volume details those efforts, provides potential solutions to challenges, and compels state leaders to keep the unique needs of rural education in mind when crafting policies that are often designed with urban and suburban districts in mind.

"The essays in this volume add to the scant information existing on rural education by discussing issues that are faced by all education systems, but within the context of rural education. They include the following details provided by highly-regarded experts in the field:

  • Paul Hill of the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE) discusses the role of SEAs in supporting the unique challenges encountered in rural education, and suggests ways states can better support the needs of rural educators.
  • Marguerite Roza, Director of the Edunomics Lab at Georgetown University challenges the assumption that rural districts are less productive than their urban or suburban peers by discussing rural districts can "beat the odds" by increasing student results without increasing per-pupil expenditures.
  • Tessie Rose Bailey, Assistant Professor, Special Education at Montana State University Billings, and Rebecca Zumeta, Senior Researcher, Education Program at American Institutes for Research, discuss the acute challenges rural districts face in meeting the unique needs of special student populations and suggest ways states can provide support through flexible staffing and regulatory policies.
  • A National Consensus Panel on Rural Education and Technology addresses common challenges found in rural districts and schools and suggests how states can support them to pursue technology solutions.

"In many ways, this highly anticipated volume represents the culmination of how the tools and strategies employed by BSCP partners in productivity, performance management, functional coherence, communications, and talent management, can be applied in the unique rural context. SEAs seeking more comprehensive support can request a direct consultation from the BSCP Center partners, who will work in close partnership with the regional content centers to provide focused and context-specific services. The Building State Capacity and Productivity Center (BSCP Center) focuses work on helping state education agencies (SEAs) throughout the country as they adapt to constrained fiscal resources and increased demands for greater productivity.  The BSCP Center provides technical assistance to SEAs that builds their capacity to support local educational agencies (LEAs or districts) and schools, and to the other 21 regional comprehensive and national content centers that serve them, by providing high quality information, tools, and implementation support. The partners in the BSCP Center are Edvance Research, Inc., the Academic Development Institute, and the Edunomics Lab (Georgetown University)."