In Science, Rural Kids Strongest

Nancy Zuckerbrod, AP, July 26, 2007

Rural students perform better in science than their urban counterparts, and rural teachers generally are happy with their schools, a federal study finds.

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When it comes to achievement, the report released Wednesday finds science is a strong subject for rural students. That could be because kids get their education in real-world settings as well as classrooms, said Marty Strange, policy director of the Rural School and Community Trust, an advocacy group.

The report found:

* At all grade levels, rural students did better on national science tests than children in cities and performed about the same as suburban students.

* In math, rural kids did better than urban students at every grade level.

* Rural fourth- and eighth-graders read better than their urban peers. In high school, rural kids read about as well as kids in cities.

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Rural schools tend to be smaller and have lower student-teacher ratios, which might explain why teachers say conditions are good there, Strange said.

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