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Achievers, Stayers, Seekers and Others: Brain Drain and the Potential for Rural Return Among Rural High School Students Kai Schafft

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Presentation on theme: "Achievers, Stayers, Seekers and Others: Brain Drain and the Potential for Rural Return Among Rural High School Students Kai Schafft"— Presentation transcript:

1 Achievers, Stayers, Seekers and Others: Brain Drain and the Potential for Rural Return Among Rural High School Students Kai Schafft Department of Education Policy Studies Penn State University Robert Petrin Department of Statistics Penn State University Thomas Farmer Department of Educational and School Psychology and Special Education Penn State University A paper presented at the 73 rd Annual Rural Sociological Society Meetings Boise, Idaho July 28-31, 2011

2 Young People Rural America’s most valuable export?

3 Do rural schools inadvertently undermine rural community well being and sustainability by grooming the “best and brightest” students to leave the home community?

4 Carr & Kefalas’ Ethnographic Categories of Rural Youth and Mobility Trajectories ACHIEVERS – high achieving students from professional class backgrounds who are college bound and rarely return; SEEKERS – Like “Achievers” but without the financial and family resources. Determined to leave home, but may “boomerang” back if new life fails to take hold; STAYERS – Low achieving students from working class backgrounds who typically stay in the home community.

5 Carr & Kefalas’ Ethnographic Categories of Rural Youth and Mobility Trajectories ACHIEVERS – high achieving students from professional class backgrounds who are college bound and rarely return; SEEKERS – Like “Achievers” but without the financial and family resources. Determined to leave home, but may “boomerang” back if new life fails to take hold; STAYERS – Low achieving students from working class backgrounds who typically stay in the home community. Ultimately may become RETURNERS

6 RHSA Study – Qualitative Data Suggest Slightly Different Conclusions Varying ambivalence about leaving home amongst all groups of students; Varying types of mobility aspirations across different types of communities (local economic conditions, employment options); Aspirations for and precedents of outmigration and rural return common, even amongst “Achievers.”

7 Data and Methods: Quantitative Survey of 9-12 th graders in 73 rural schools; 8.2% classified as small town; 78.1% classified as rural, outside MSA; 13.7% classified as rural inside MSA; 36 schools with >50% low income students (FRPL); 15 schools with >50% self identifying as ethnic minority.

8 Data and Methods: Qualitative Focus groups in 12 school survey sites, chosen to achieve regional variation; In each site focus groups with High School Students, Educators and Community Leaders

9 In all… What is the local community like as a place to live and grow up in?; What is the relationship between the school and the community?; What post-secondary residential, educational and career aspirations do High School Students have and what factors appear to influence how rural youth make plans for their futures?

10 Quantitative Analyses Can Carr & Kefalas’ (2009) rural youth categories be replicated using Latent Class Analysis?

11 Quantitative Analyses Gendered Differences (Table 1): Females : ↑ Grades ↑ School Valuing ↑ Extracurricular Participation ↑ Contact with Adults ↑ Perceived Interest by Teachers

12 Quantitative Analyses Latent Class Solutions, Males and Females (Tables 2&3): Latent class probabilities substantively similar across gender, roughly corresponding to “Achievers,” “Seekers” and “Stayers”; “Achievers” and “Stayers” differ qualitatively across gender, consistent with data in Table 1.

13 Quantitative Analyses Predictors of Student Latent Types, (Table 4)

14 LATENT TYPE (LATENT CLASS) AchieversSeekersStayers HML MALES ONLY Minority Student R/C Long Lived in Community (> 8-10 Yrs vs. Other)0.465**0.178R/C Farm Residence (Y vs. N) R/C High Parent Education (B.A. or B.S. vs. Other)1.015***0.409*R/C Rural Remote (vs. Other) R/C Grade 12 (vs. Grades 11, 10, 9)0.680**0.622*R/C School Poverty Level (% Free Lunch) R/C Ln of school enrollment R/C

15 LATENT TYPE (LATENT CLASS) AchieversSeekersStayers HML MALES ONLY Minority Student R/C Long Lived in Community (> 8-10 Yrs vs. Other)0.465**0.178R/C Farm Residence (Y vs. N) R/C High Parent Education (B.A. or B.S. vs. Other)1.015***0.409*R/C Rural Remote (vs. Other) R/C Grade 12 (vs. Grades 11, 10, 9)0.680**0.622*R/C School Poverty Level (% Free Lunch) R/C Ln of school enrollment R/C

16 LATENT TYPE (LATENT CLASS) AchieversSeekersStayers HML FEMALES ONLY Minority Student-0.634**0.276R/C Long Lived in Community (> 8-10 Yrs vs. Other)0.726**0.308R/C Farm Residence (Y vs. N) R/C High Parent Education (B.A. or B.S. vs. Other)1.011***0.162R/C Rural Remote (vs. Other) R/C Grade 12 (vs. Grades 11, 10, 9)1.087***0.731***R/C School Poverty Level (% Free Lunch) R/C Ln of school enrollment-0.334*0.051R/C

17 LATENT TYPE (LATENT CLASS) AchieversSeekersStayers HML FEMALES ONLY Minority Student-0.634**0.276R/C Long Lived in Community (> 8-10 Yrs vs. Other)0.726**0.308R/C Farm Residence (Y vs. N) R/C High Parent Education (B.A. or B.S. vs. Other)1.011***0.162R/C Rural Remote (vs. Other) R/C Grade 12 (vs. Grades 11, 10, 9)1.087***0.731***R/C School Poverty Level (% Free Lunch) R/C Ln of school enrollment-0.334*0.051R/C

18 Quantitative Analyses Association Between Student Mobility Plans and Latent Types, (Tables 5 & 6)

19 In thinking about your future, how important is each of the following to you? VALID PERCENT (Somewhat to Very Important) Living close to my community where I grew up Going away to a larger city or environment but returning later to a smaller community to raise a family 51.2

20 Where do you WANT to live when you are 30 years old? VALID PERCENT Same area or town as now14.8 Another rural area or town in my state6.3 Smaller city in my state6.1 Large city in my state7.9 Small city in another state6.7 Large city in another state17.0 Rural area in another state3.2 Another country3.8 Don’t know34.2

21 Where do you WANT to live when you are 30 years old? VALID PERCENT Same area or town as now14.8 Another rural area or town in my state6.3 Smaller city in my state6.1 Large city in my state7.9 Small city in another state6.7 Large city in another state17.0 Rural area in another state3.2 Another country3.8 Don’t know34.2

22 Where do you WANT to live when you are 30 years old? VALID PERCENT Same area or town as now14.8 Another rural area or town in my state6.3 Smaller city in my state6.1 Large city in my state7.9 Small city in another state6.7 Large city in another state17.0 Rural area in another state3.2 Another country3.8 Don’t know34.2

23 MALES Live Close to Community Where Grew Up Student Covariates Minority0.058 Lived in Community > 8-10 Yrs (vs. Other)0.302* Farm Residence (Y vs. N)0.671*** Number of Siblings-0.058* High Parent Education B.A.+ or B.S.+ (vs. Other)0.139 Student in Grade 12 (vs. Other)0.020 Many Must Move to Get Jobs Very Imp. To Get Away from Area-0.513*** School/Community Covariates Rural Remote Locale (vs. Other) School Size (Ln Enrollment)0.078 School Poverty Level (% Free Lunch)0.650 Logistic Regression Intercepts, by Latent Type 1: Achievers2.528** 2: Seekers1.931** 3: Stayers1.665 Statistically different intercepts (Classes found to differ from one another via pairwise tests) (1 2) (1 3) N2,844

24 MALES Important to Go Away & Return Later to Small Town Student Covariates Minority0.370 *** Lived in Community > 8-10 Yrs (vs. Other)0.074 Farm Residence (Y vs. N)-0.275** Number of Siblings0.021 High Parent Education B.A.+ or B.S.+ (vs. Other)0.148 * Student in Grade 12 (vs. Other) Many Must Move to Get Jobs0.274 ** Very Imp. To Get Away from Area0.291** School/Community Covariates Rural Remote Locale (vs. Other)0.192 School Size (Ln Enrollment) School Poverty Level (% Free Lunch) * Logistic Regression Intercepts, by Latent Type 1: Achievers : Seekers : Stayers1.190 * Statistically different intercepts (Classes found to differ from one another via pairwise tests) (1 3) (2 3) N2,862

25 MALES (indicating Res. Pref.) Want to live in Same Town Student Covariates Minority Lived in Community > 8-10 Yrs (vs. Other)0.667*** Farm Residence (Y vs. N)1.047*** Number of Siblings High Parent Education B.A.+ or B.S.+ (vs. Other) Student in Grade 12 (vs. Other) Many Must Move to Get Jobs *** Very Imp. To Get Away from Area-2.115*** School/Community Covariates Rural Remote Locale (vs. Other)0.001 School Size (Ln Enrollment)0.276 School Poverty Level (% Free Lunch)1.263 Logistic Regression Intercepts, by Latent Type 1: Achievers3.792*** 2: Seekers3.195*** 3: Stayers2.584 ** Statistically different intercepts (Classes found to differ from one another via pairwise tests) (1 2) (1 3) (2 3) N2,837

26 MALES (indicating Res. Pref.) Want to live in a Rural Area Student Covariates Minority-0.381* Lived in Community > 8-10 Yrs (vs. Other)0.510*** Farm Residence (Y vs. N).969*** Number of Siblings High Parent Education B.A.+ or B.S.+ (vs. Other) Student in Grade 12 (vs. Other)0.165 Many Must Move to Get Jobs-0.519*** Very Imp. To Get Away from Area *** School/Community Covariates Rural Remote Locale (vs. Other) School Size (Ln Enrollment)0.075 School Poverty Level (% Free Lunch)0.914 Logistic Regression Intercepts, by Latent Type 1: Achievers1.737* 2: Seekers : Stayers0.888 Statistically different intercepts (Classes found to differ from one another via pairwise tests) (1 2) (1 3) N2,883

27 FEMALES Live Close to Community Where Grew Up Student Covariates Minority-0.275* Lived in Community > 8-10 Yrs (vs. Other)0.395*** Farm Residence (Y vs. N)0.296* Number of Siblings-0.079* High Parent Education B.A.+ or B.S.+ (vs. Other) Student in Grade 12 (vs. Other)0.051 Many Must Move to Get Jobs Very Imp. To Get Away from Area-0.891*** School/Community Covariates Rural Remote Locale (vs. Other) School Size (Ln Enrollment)0.091 School Poverty Level (% Free Lunch)0.432 Logistic Regression Intercepts, by Latent Type 1: Achievers : Seekers : Stayers0.919 Statistically different intercepts (Classes found to differ from one another via pairwise tests) N3,385

28 FEMALES Important to Go Away & Return Later to Small Town Student Covariates Minority0.162 Lived in Community > 8-10 Yrs (vs. Other)0.092 Farm Residence (Y vs. N) Number of Siblings0.026 High Parent Education B.A.+ or B.S.+ (vs. Other)0.145 Student in Grade 12 (vs. Other) Many Must Move to Get Jobs0.085 Very Imp. To Get Away from Area0.081 School/Community Covariates Rural Remote Locale (vs. Other)0.197 School Size (Ln Enrollment) School Poverty Level (% Free Lunch) Logistic Regression Intercepts, by Latent Type 1: Achievers : Seekers1.129* 3: Stayers0.704 Statistically different intercepts (Classes found to differ from one another via pairwise tests) (1 3) (2 3) N3,400

29 FEMALES (indicating Res. Pref.) Want to live in Same Town Student Covariates Minority Lived in Community > 8-10 Yrs (vs. Other)0.498*** Farm Residence (Y vs. N)0.504** Number of Siblings High Parent Education B.A.+ or B.S.+ (vs. Other)0.033 Student in Grade 12 (vs. Other)0.017 Many Must Move to Get Jobs-0.621*** Very Imp. To Get Away from Area *** School/Community Covariates Rural Remote Locale (vs. Other) School Size (Ln Enrollment)0.279 School Poverty Level (% Free Lunch)1.330* Logistic Regression Intercepts, by Latent Type 1: Achievers3.448** 2: Seekers3.039** 3: Stayers2.952** Statistically different intercepts (Classes found to differ from one another via pairwise tests) (1 2) N3,400

30 FEMALES (indicating Res. Pref.) Want to live in a Rural Area Student Covariates Minority-0.475** Lived in Community > 8-10 Yrs (vs. Other)0.434*** Farm Residence (Y vs. N).734*** Number of Siblings High Parent Education B.A.+ or B.S.+ (vs. Other) Student in Grade 12 (vs. Other)0.052 Many Must Move to Get Jobs-0.546*** Very Imp. To Get Away from Area *** School/Community Covariates Rural Remote Locale (vs. Other) School Size (Ln Enrollment)0.043 School Poverty Level (% Free Lunch)1.306** Logistic Regression Intercepts, by Latent Type 1: Achievers : Seekers : Stayers0.978 Statistically different intercepts (Classes found to differ from one another via pairwise tests) N2,985

31 FEMALES (indicating Res. Pref.) Important to Go Away and Return Later to Small Town Student Covariates Minority0.193 Lived in Community > 8-10 Yrs (vs. Other)0.108 Farm Residence (Y vs. N) Number of Siblings0.029 High Parent Education B.A.+ or B.S.+ (vs. Other)0.037 Student in Grade 12 (vs. Other) Many Must Move to Get Jobs0.056 Very Imp. To Get Away from Area0.045 School/Community Covariates Rural Remote Locale (vs. Other)0.111 School Size (Ln Enrollment) School Poverty Level (% Free Lunch) Logistic Regression Intercepts, by Latent Type 1: Achievers1.039 * 2: Seekers : Stayers1.200 * Statistically different intercepts (Classes found to differ from one another via pairwise tests) N2,972

32 Qualitative Data Suggests Rural Attachment & Norms of Rural Return Female FG Member 1: I think some of them are ready to spread their wings and get the heck out of here. [GROUP LAUGHTER] They would say. To go to something bigger and better. But a lot of times I think this type of community is somewhat bred into those kids. And I'm just speaking from experience in that you want to sometimes come back to where your roots were and raise your kids how you were raised. So even though they want to get away and go to college or go wherever. I think, long-term, some of those kids usually end up back in this community. Or in another one like it. Like in my case. Female FG Member 2: I was telling [TEACHER] yesterday-I didn't see it myself, my daughter shared it with me, but my middle son-there is a new thing on Facebook, you know "25 random facts about me." [GROUP LAUGHTER]. I don't know if you've heard about this or not. Anyway, one of the facts that my middle son put down was that he was raised on dirt roads and that's where he wants to raise his kids.

33 Conclusions We were able to use latent class analyses attempting to replicate Carr & Kefalas’ student types; However, contrary to Carr & Kefalas’ findings, we find that Achievers tend to be least likely to aspire to leave rural areas; Some gendered differences; Qualitative data suggest youth rural attachment AND examples of rural return, including return of “Achievers”

34 Conclusions RHSA data suggests the importance of understanding the relationship between community context and student aspirations; Longitudinal and mixed methods work valuable (e.g. McLaughlin & Snyder’s RYE data; Michael Corbett) Implications for rural community development?

35 Other Collaborators Tom Farmer, Penn State University Judith Meece, University of N. Carolina, Chapel Hill Soo-yong Byun, University of N. Carolina, Chapel Hill Bryan Hutchins, University of N. Carolina, Chapel Hill Matt Irvin, University of N. Carolina, Chapel Hill This research is supported by a Research and Development Center grant (R305A04056) from the Institute of Education Sciences to the National Research Center on Rural Education Support at the University of North Carolina-CH. The views expressed in this article are ours and do not represent the granting agency.


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