78 episodes

Welcome to the official podcast of the National Rural Education Association called the Rural Voice. Co-Hosted by Drs. Allen Pratt, Jared Bigham, and Christopher F. Silver, they discuss the common themes and experiences facing teachers, parents, and administrators in elementary and secondary rural education.

National Rural Education Association Official Podcast Dr Allen Pratt, Mr. Jared Bigham

    • Education

Welcome to the official podcast of the National Rural Education Association called the Rural Voice. Co-Hosted by Drs. Allen Pratt, Jared Bigham, and Christopher F. Silver, they discuss the common themes and experiences facing teachers, parents, and administrators in elementary and secondary rural education.

    S04E04 - Engaging Communities through Higher Education, an Interview with Dr. Brian Noland, President of East Tennessee State University

    S04E04 - Engaging Communities through Higher Education, an Interview with Dr. Brian Noland, President of East Tennessee State University

    For this episode, we interview Dr. Brian Noland, the President of East Tennessee State University (ETSU). ETSU is a rural university serving the states of Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, and Kentucky. ETSU is located in a mountainous area of the country and has a strong presence in these states. ETSU has a strong education program for developing Rural Southeast United States teachers. We discussed the future of rural communities and how graduates from ETSU support these communities. Dr Noland believes that relationships are an important part of advocacy for raising awareness of the unique challenges within mountain communities. Dr. Noland believes in making a presence in these rural areas to serve this relationship focus. We discussed the importance of humility in making these relationships and meeting students and teachers where they are. We discuss some of the biggest challenges in education in the rural south. We talk about raising attainment levels. We discussed changing the perception of higher education in rural areas. For example, higher education wastes time and money indoctrinating students, and students will be hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. Dr. Noland discusses the challenges of this narrative in helping students make the right decision for them. With all the available student funding through programs such as Tennessee Promise, students can attend college with little to no debt. One of the biggest challenges is this false narrative about college. Higher education empowers students to have greater earning power in the marketplace. ETSU is an economic driver of innovation and job creation in the rural south. ETSU is a teaching school and a medical science school. Many local residents connect with medical and educational professionals trained at ETSU. In other words, many residents connect with ETSU in many ways. We end the episode by discussing the role of ETSU Elevates, where students build a community partnership with organizations. The goal is to build student/community engagement to solve community challenges and to give back to small towns by working with community partners and meeting needs as identified by those partners. Dr. Noland shared that he and his team want students to dream big and actualize their dreams.

    Dr. Noland’s Bio
    Since 2012, Dr. Brian Noland has served as the ninth president of East Tennessee State University. Before that, he led the development and implementation of higher education policy in Tennessee and West Virginia.

    Dr. Noland’s Socials
    X (formally Twitter): https://x.com/ETSUPrez
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/etsuprez/
    -LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brian-noland-etsu/

    ETSU is part of Four the Future, a statewide initiative to showcase the value of a four-year degree for Tennesseans. Learn more at fourthefuturetn.com.
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FourTheFutureTN/
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/four-the-future-tn/

    ETSU’s Socials
    X (formally Twitter): https://x.com/etsu
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/etsu/
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/school/east-tennessee-state-university
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/easttennesseestateuniversity/

    This episode is sponsored by My Credential at https://www.mycredential.com/

    • 32 min
    S04E03 – Understanding New Teacher Expectations in Rural America from Retention to Practice. An Interview with Dr. Casey Jakubowski.

    S04E03 – Understanding New Teacher Expectations in Rural America from Retention to Practice. An Interview with Dr. Casey Jakubowski.

    We interviewed Dr. Casey Jakubowski about teacher retention, policy, and practice. Dr. Jakubowski shared that Appalachia extends into New York State, and we reflected on how New York has large rural communities. Much of Dr. Jakubowski's work has focused on these communities and beyond (including West Virginia). We discuss the changing trends of job availability to applicants. We discuss burnout of new rural teachers and pay disparities between urban versus suburban teaching. The revolving door of teachers causes students not to have a permeance of personalities and connections with teachers. Interpersonal relationships between teachers and students are important to student success. We discussed some common issues facing rural education, including internet access and lack of amenities such as Starbucks as a cultural expectation of new teachers. One solution noted by Dr. Jakubowski is for rural districts to partner to address the unique challenges in rural education. We shift to discuss the rural funding in New York State. Dr. Jakubowski shares that given this perceived decrease in the number of kids in rural education states, such as New York, are starting to cut budgets for rural education. This has a direct impact on programs and teachers in these schools. We discuss how teachers hold significant responsibility for the welfare of their communities, families, and students to help students succeed. Finally, Dr. Jakubowski discusses place-based teaching as a solution to give resources to rural teaching. This helps facilitate partnerships between the teachers and the community to help students see how their education is connected to their community. These can be connected to science, history, math, and other topics. Further, he suggests we should celebrate other educational programs such as the Scouts of America, 4-H, and other programs that assist in preparing students for leadership and the workforce.
    Check out Dr. Jakubowski's book Getting to the Hearts of Teaching, as some of the topics discussed come from this book.

    Casey Jakubowski Phd founder of Dragontamer.us is the author of books on Rural Education and the teacher retention crisis. Thinking about Teaching, A cog in the machine, ang Getting to the Hearts of Teaching(EduMatch Publishing) are rural inspired and rural focused. He is the co author of Crush it from the start: 50 tips for new teachers (SchoolRubric) designed to help the educator retention crisis. A historian,,Casey wrote Rural Education history: state policy meets local implementation (Lexington) that delves into the failed school consolidation policies. His book, Minerva Conflict in the hills (Lexington) examines the history of the Post World War II centralization policy towards education.

    My Credential sponsors this episode at https://www.mycredential.com/

    • 33 min
    S04E02 - Computer Science in Rural Education Curriculum, an Interview with Ms. Karen Mix

    S04E02 - Computer Science in Rural Education Curriculum, an Interview with Ms. Karen Mix

    In this episode, we discuss rural initiatives to train students in computer science. We interviewed Ms. Karen Mix, the co-director of CS4NorCal, a five-year research grant. This program creates K-12 computer science training. CS4NorCal was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Education Innovation and Research (EIR) Program and sponsored by SSDA to support Computer Science (CS) professional learning and instruction in rural Northern California. The project is currently building a model for computer science in rural schools. Ms. Mix discusses the role of partnerships within the six counties in Northern California with professional development for teachers and generating access for teachers to attend. We discussed how the various ways this program has supported computer science programs in rural schools. We discuss how schools can find funding for these programs and how partnerships can aid resources and education. We discuss how the curriculum can be implemented at various levels and programs.


    Links of interest
    CS4NorCal Main Website - https://www.cs4norcal.org/
    CS4NorCal Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/CS4NorCal/
    CS4NorCal Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/company/cs4norcal/
    Code.org - http://code.org
    CSforCA - https://csforca.org/
    CS for All - https://www.csforall.org/
    Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) - https://csteachers.org/
    CS4NorCal Presentation - https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1zvybwzYf4RiIGsfeu3R8J-T8bvcLgE4ssn_x5PWtMT0/edit#slide=id.g2b9a718b659_0_1733
    Implementation Dashboard - https://lookerstudio.google.com/reporting/90b34553-bb57-4969-84fe-7af0d3a9c6e4/page/5iGTD

    This episode is sponsored by My Credential at https://www.mycredential.com/

    • 37 min
    S04E01 - Rural Framing and data-informed exploration of the changing landscape of Rural America with Dr Brad Mitchell

    S04E01 - Rural Framing and data-informed exploration of the changing landscape of Rural America with Dr Brad Mitchell

    In the first episode of the new season of the Rural Voice, we talk about the research of place and process of rural education from a data-informed perspective. We discuss the role of Ground Truthing and connecting data within the domains of politics, culture, and fear of consolidation. Dr. Mitchell talks about somewhere (rural) and anywhere (urban and suburban). The politics of these are what many would expect. Somewhere, lean more conservative, and anywhere is more liberal. However, these trends in the data are not uniform. In some rural areas, some voters lean liberal, particularly for those people of color. More rural suburban locations vote more conservatively. These spaces include many small business owners. More diverse suburbs lean more liberal as well. Similarly, we are seeing a shift toward skills-based education in high schools, such as trade education (e.g., Information Technology). Thus, educational pathways should be more connected to local needs. We discussed the role of emotion and between-group conflict, such as city and rural tension, the reemergence of populism, women's rights, diversity, and others. These trends have a trickle-down influence on education. We discuss psychology's role in explaining the American shift toward being "groupy" and how it insulates us from perceived threats to our values and groups. We talk about access to resources such as money, natural resources, services, etc. This directly connects to educational offerings and how policy influences local schools, particularly concerning policy and law. From the cultural perspective, it relates to migration and the changing rural demographics. At the same time, we see a change in Hispanic populations in rural America, but African Americans also move to rural areas, including the Southeast United States. This can place a financial strain on these small communities as, in some cases, these communities are seeing an increase in migration, particularly for public schools. This will create new challenges for educators in rural education to meet the needs of these populations (e.g., ESL services). The final domain concerns the fear of consolidating small communities to merge services where rural communities may lose their identity. Dr. Mitchell suggests that these issues will play a role in rural education in the future. Much of the curriculum and policy will be related to places, resources, and job markets and how rural education changes to meet these challenges through the somewhere versus anywhere paradigm.

    • 53 min
    S03E27 - Dispatches from NFARE Conference in Chattanooga TN (November 15-17, 2023), an interview with Valerie Rutledge

    S03E27 - Dispatches from NFARE Conference in Chattanooga TN (November 15-17, 2023), an interview with Valerie Rutledge

    Dr. Valerie Rutledge, Dean of the College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, discussed the large, diverse mix of accredited and licensure programs her college oversees. With an extensive background as an educator and administrator, Rutledge highlighted impressions from the record-setting National Forum to Advance Rural Education conference. She noted the hundreds of attendees from 48 states and abroad, representing the importance of understanding widespread rural needs despite regional differences. If Rutledge had a "magic wand," she would increase rural schools' visibility and confidence while expanding opportunities and resources for rural students to unleash their potential. Dr. Rutledge can be reached at valerie-rutledge@utc.edu.

    Michael Crosa helps people across the US to create, distribute, and monetize their podcasts. Learn more at Chattanooga Podcast Studios dot com. He is also the head of the PodNooga Network which can be found on Instagram and Facebook at PodNooga.

    • 5 min
    S03E26 - Dispatches from NFARE Conference in Chattanooga TN (November 15-17, 2023), an interview with Mike Hines

    S03E26 - Dispatches from NFARE Conference in Chattanooga TN (November 15-17, 2023), an interview with Mike Hines

    Mike Hines, representing business and industry, discussed new federal infrastructure funding for rural schools at the National Forum to Advance Rural Education conference. The Inflation Reduction Act's $369 billion tax credits allow non-taxable entities like schools to access cash to upgrade aging systems for energy efficiency. Hines explained how schools can leverage these funds as a down payment and use future energy savings to pay for complete infrastructure modernization without further straining budgets. The act also emphasizes job training so future workers can operate and maintain new technology. Hines invites listeners to contact the TRAIN organization to connect with him about the 48C ITC federal program supporting rural schools with major facility

    Michael Crosa helps people across the US to create, distribute, and monetize their podcasts. Learn more at Chattanooga Podcast Studios dot com. He is also the head of the PodNooga Network which can be found on Instagram and Facebook at PodNooga.

    • 6 min

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