Learning from rural Minnesota high schools


Can/should Minnesota learn from outstanding rural high schools such as those in Hibbing, Henderson, Little Falls and Lake of the Woods? “Yes” is the clear answer of research the Center for School Change (where I work) has carried out in the last year. Some of our conclusions will surprise plenty of people.

We’ve visited 10 rural communities all over the state, and done an intensive review of research about successful high schools. We defined “successful” high schools as those that sent a high percentage of students on to some form of Minnesota public college or university, AND prepared their graduates so well that 25% of them, or less, took remedial courses in reading, writing and math at the public college or university.

We found six major things in the communities we visited: