Journal Issue: Excellence in the Classroom Volume 17 Number 1 Spring 2007
In many discussions of rural schools and school districts, rural is simply a catchword denoting everything that is not urban or metropolitan. Such usage overlooks the complexity of rural communities and school districts, as well as the considerable variation within them. In examining recruitment and retention of teachers in rural areas, I begin with the premise that rural is an important analytic category. I examine rural communities in detail and then survey the organizational structure of their schools and the demographics and educational needs of their students to see how each affects the ability of rural schools to attract and retain highquality teachers. I conclude with an assessment of implications for policy.