A Past Lost
A Past Lost
This concluding chapter argues that the misfortune of rural schools speaks to the declining population and political influence of rural communities in general, but it also suggests new possibilities for a usable past. For as conservatives shift their attention from local control to school choice—and as suburbanites ignore the outlying communities with whom they once identified—they discard a valuable legacy of democratic participation, a cause with the potential to unite rural and urban areas as well as teachers and taxpayers. Rural teachers may have an important role to play in contemporary politics, not because their concerns are distinct from those of urban teachers but because conservative policies have hurt the communities in which both groups work.
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