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“Lawmakers who represent rural areas told Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a hearing Wednesday that the No Child Left Behind law, as well as the Obama administration’s blueprint for overhauling it, failed to take sufficiently into account the problems of rural schools, and their nine million students,” reports the New York Times’ Sam Dillon. The questions asked yesterday of Education Secretary Arne Duncan (above) were all good ones. Why does the formula for distributing education money still favor urban districts at the expense of those in rural areas? How is it going to help rural schools to fire instructors or principals when ready replacements are not around to be hired? 

The complaint about the Obama administration’s education policy has been that it is urban-centric, or, as Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming put it yesterday, “urban centered.” (Duncan is from Chicago.) Still is, apparently.

“There are lots of bright people at the Department of Education, and they work very hard,” said John Hill, executive director of the National Rural Education Association, based at Purdue University. “But because most have not grown up or worked in a rural area, they find it difficult to see how things work in remote districts.”

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