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Rural Matters

Mar 29, 2019

Michelle chats with Jason Cervone about his new book, Corporatizing Rural Education, which emanated from his college dissertation. According to Cervone, education is increasingly being privatized and influenced by a corporate viewpoint that emphasizes preparing students for future careers.  At the heart of the concept of school choice and charter schools, he notes, is competition among students to earn a place in their school of choice, but for economic reasons, not all students really have that choice. Cervone also discusses the growing involvement of corporate philanthropy in education, with programs such as Teach for America, which does not necessarily inure to the benefit of rural education. Many Teach for America teachers do not stay in the education area, Cervone says. According to Cervone, when we substitute career education for the pursuit of education goals for 14- or 15-year-olds, it is sometimes limiting to the student. In rural America, he asks, are we trying to create a worker for an agricultural company or are we teaching that student about agriculture? In general, he says, rural schools actually may have an advantage in education because there’s a real opportunity for teachers to engage with their students. The bottom line, Cervone says, is the future of rural education would not look like the past, but it is unclear exactly what it will look like. This episode was sponsored by the Alliance for a Health Kansas,, and Butler County Educational Service Center,