Adherence to Themes in Rural Local Education Agency Reorganization Research: a Meta-analysis Review

Research output: Working paper


As the United States education system has developed, local education agencies (LEAs) have found the role of serving as a tool to define collective identity within rural communities. The purpose of this study is to understand current perceptions community members might hold about LEA reorganization through the utilization of interdisciplinary lenses: educational policy and rural sociology. This study has critically evaluated completed perceptions survey research on rural LEA reorganization by quantitatively collecting trend data from a sample of seven case study dissertations published between 2000 and 2014. Within the sample, it was found that the researcher’s first null hypothesis concerning perceptions of social identity aligned with Howley, Johnson, & Petrie’s (2011) policy brief [the community’s perceptions of loss of democratic identity]. The researcher’s second and third research hypothesis concerning perceptions of economies of scale and opportunities available, however, fell in line with Smith’s (1938) research [reorganized LEAs provide greater efficiencies with highly qualified staff and that a broadened academic and extra-curricular education would provide competition in more activities, versus less opportunities]. Results were determined through the use of five independent coders to collectively verify themes. There is a shift in rural communities in the face of globalization, but this change should take place with the knowledge of research-based perceptions of rural identity to replace vanishing regional social structures and diversifying commodities markets.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Place of PublicationIDEALS
Number of pages160
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


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