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This paper reviews the results of two studies on rural superintendents' attitudes toward school choice. A 1990 survey of 824 superintendents in Arkansas, Iowa, and Minnesota, where school choice had been implemented for 1-2 years, found that slightly more than half favored legislation permitting parents and their children to choose schools outside their resident district. However, superintendents overwhelmingly rejected the validity of all arguments in favor of choice and claimed that choice did not have a significant impact upon enrollment or funding. Superintendents agreed with two of the beliefs of the opponents of choice, and were divided on the remaining two. In the 1992 follow-up study of 947 rural superintendents in Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska, the majority of superintendents reported that location and convenience was the primary parental reason for choosing another district. They reported that school choice legislation had had no impact upon course offerings. As in the previous study, the respondents overwhelmingly rejected arguments supporting choice and seemed to be moving to the neutral zone on arguments opposing choice. This paper concludes that choice has not made a difference. (KS)

Descriptors: Administrator Attitudes, Educational Legislation, Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Enrollment Influences, Rural Schools, School Choice, Superintendents

Autor: Graham, Michael W.; Ruhl, Max L.


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