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Professor's new book examines policies affecting rural education

Kristen B. Morales

December 24, 2015

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A new book co-edited by a University of Georgia College of Education faculty member takes an in-depth look at rural education—and the opportunities it presents.

"Educational Opportunity in Rural Contexts: The Policy of Place," recently published by Information Age Publishing, is part of the series "Research in Education Policy: Local, National and Global Perspectives." In it, Sheneka Williams, an educational policy expert and associate professor in the department of lifelong education, administration and policy, worked with her former doctoral student, Ain A. Grooms of the Southern Regional Education Board, to develop a collection of articles focusing on rural education in the years following the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision.

Williams and Grooms felt it was important to focus on rural schools because most educational policy and reform literature focuses on urban and suburban topics. As a result, the book is divided into two sections—one that examines the implications of state and federal policy on educational opportunity, and a second that take a macro-level approach by exploring case studies of rural districts across the country.

"I am very pleased to have chapters in the book from some of the top scholars whose research focuses on rural education," says Williams. "For example, we have contributions from scholars such as John Sipple of Cornell University, Craig and Caitlyn Howley, and Karen Eppley, who is editor of the Journal of Research in Rural Education."

Williams adds that the main purpose of the book is to garner policymakers' attention about the politics of educational opportunity in rural districts. She said she hopes to visit many of the rural districts represented in the book, particularly in the Deep South, to further the discussions presented in the book.

"These districts face a unique set of challenges that have gone unrecognized by federal policymakers," she says. "We feel the time is now to release the book and start a national conversation about educational opportunity in rural contexts."

"Educational Opportunity in Rural Contexts: The Policy of Place" is available for $85.99 (hardcover) and $45.99 (paperback) from www.infoagepub.com.