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HIGHLY PRODUCTIVE RURAL DISTRICTS: WHAT IS THE SECRET SAUCE?

The rural schools narrative is usually a tale of deficits: they are expensive, they lack teacher talent, their graduates don't do well in college. And, generally, the data from rural districts confirm that narrative. Yet in 2014, an earlier paper in this series found there's another part of the story, one that suggests being rural might actually be an asset. The earlier paper discovered that a higher portion of remote rural districts fall into the category of being "productivity superstars"-outliers in that they exhibit higher outcomes than would be predicted by their mix of students and access to funds. This paper replicates that analysis with a more recent dataset, and then sets out to understand what it is that makes a remote rural district a productivity superstar.

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