Thursday, August 2, 7:00 pm, SUB Ballroom A, Keynote Address

In 1944, the White House Conference on Rural Education published a report stating the belief that “the rural schools are a fundamental and indispensable means of building and maintaining in America the most glorious rural life anywhere in the world” and that “there is nothing involved that cannot be adequately coped with if public policy, state and national, makes available (1) the teaching personnel devoted to the education of rural children and equipped by education for that important work, (2) the leadership—national, state, and local—necessary to promote and operate the kind of schools needed, and (3) the financial resources necessary to maintain adequate educational opportunities (Dawson, 1944, p.42).

Fast-forward to 2018, and Dawson’s words continue to ring true.  It is critical that we carefully examine aspects of state and federal education policy from the perspective of rural schools and communities across the United States and understand how these rural schools and communities address the work which has been mandated from afar and manage to educate their students.

Citation:  Dawson, H. A. (1944). Trouble at the Crossroads. The White House Conference on Rural Education. Washington, D.C.

Bio – Dr. Allen Pratt currently serves as the Executive Director of the National Rural Education Association.  In the past, he has served as a high school science teacher and coach, a high school principal, assistant superintendent/curriculum director, executive director of the Tennessee Rural Education Association, executive director of the East Tennessee Center of Regional Excellence for the Tennessee Department of Education, and rural outreach liaison for Lincoln Memorial University. His primary interests are those issues which impact rural schools and the role of instructional leaders at the district and building levels. He is also involved at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in the School of Education and their Educational Leadership program.