Some academic outcomes for students living in “Middle Appalachia” have improved over the past 20 years, yet challenges unique to the region remain, according to a new report.
Researchers from the CNA Education, in Washington, reviewed 275-plus studies on eucation from 1995 through 2015 that focused on parts of Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. They found that:
•High school graduation rates increased by 20 percentage points from 1979 to 1999.
•Students from the region now score nearly as well or at the same level as their non-Appalachian peers on the ACT exam.
•From 2008 to 2012, more than 25 percent of children under 18 were living in poverty in the region, compared to about 21 percent nationwide.
But researchers said the region still lacks support for students who want to pursue higher education. The report also points to a mismatch in the skills students learn in career technical education programs and the needs of local employers.
A version of this article appeared in the September 30, 2015 edition of Education Week as Rural Education