Faculty & Research

Recent Publications - Journal Articles


Educational sorting and residential aspirations among rural high school students: What are the contributions of schools and educators to rural brain drain?

Petrin, Robert A.; Schafft, Kai A.; Meece, Judith L.
American Educational Research Journal, 51 (2): pp.294-326 (2014)

DOI: 10.3102/0002831214527493Information about DOI

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An extended body of research has documented the outmigration of the “best and brightest” youth from rural areas. Some of this scholarship has suggested that rural schools and educators may be complicit in this process as they devote extra attention and resources to the highest achieving students—those most likely to leave their rural communities after high school. Using data from a national multi-method study, we find mixed support for this hypothesis. To the contrary, our data suggest that the highest-achieving rural students are among those with the greatest community attachment, and that student perceptions of local economic conditions are far more influential in shaping postsecondary residential aspirations than the advice of educators, or the poverty level of the school.

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