Essay On Rural Areas

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Defining Rural Areas for Statistical Purposes
The vagaries around the rural concept must yield to an objective form in order to have consistent measurement. Since this chapter draws primarily on data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), their definition of rural is consistent and convenient. Since 2006, NCES has used the same “urban-centric” locale definitions used by the US Census Bureau. Fittingly, under this urban-centric definition, rural areas include all those located outside of places the Census calls “urban.”
The urban umbrella term includes three locales: cities, suburbs, and towns. Each of these is broken into three subtypes: large, midsize, and small. City locales include territories within an urbanized …show more content…

For this reason, this chapter uses the entire rural locale instead of rural sublevels. One wrinkle in NCES’s classification system is that while every school can be specifically accounted for as belonging to one locale, school districts can include schools from different locale classifications. For example, a district classified as “suburban” might include a number of individual schools that are classified as “rural.” Despite the partial mismatch between the locale of some schools and the districts they belong to, there are valuable reasons to compare school districts by their predominant locale. For instance, districts, rather than schools, are the ones that often deal with issues like transportation or providing opportunities for advanced course taking, which pose unique challenges in rural areas. In order to compare districts by locale, the chapter uses NCES district categorizations which assign a locale based on the predominant locale the district’s schools.
Of course, this classification system groups together a large number of schools into each locale category that are far from homogeneous. To illustrate differences between locales and across rural areas, select data points are broken out by locale

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