Research Alliance: Northeast Rural Districts Research Alliance
Principal investigator: Kirk Walters
Rural communities and educators in New England and New York face unique challenges in implementing the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics. Members of NRDRA, which is dedicated to providing research to support rural districts’ efforts to ensure school success, expressed a need to understand how technology can be used to improve the implementation of the standards in rural schools.
This study identifies key emerging needs and challenges faced by rural educators as they prepare to implement the standards and linking these needs and challenges to information about available online supports and resources. The findings will help administrators, teacher-leaders, and teachers in rural schools and districts in the Northeast improve their instructional activities as they prepare for full implementation of the standards.
NRDRA members recruited districts in a range of sizes from New York, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Study districts administered a survey to teachers asking them to report on their preparation and familiarity with the standards, their challenges and needs as they implement the standards, and the types of resources (with a special focus online) that could aid in their implementation. In addition, REL Northeast & Islands researchers conducted semistructured interviews with state-and district-level educators focused on similar topics as in the teacher surveys.
To create a map of existing online resources, researchers restricted their review to materials that meet four criteria: (1) aligned to the highest priorities and needs identified in the teacher surveys and administrator interviews, (2) fully accessible online, (3) make specific reference to the standards for mathematical content or mathematical practice in grades 3–8, and (4) demonstrate a cohesive instructional and/or content structure.
View the report.
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