School Turnaround: A Rural Reflection of Reform on the Reservation and Lessons for Implementation

  • Ian M. Mette University of Maine
  • Jason Stanoch University of Missouri
Keywords: school improvement grants; school turnaround; Native American education; rural reform efforts; one-to-one initiatives


Rural communities traditionally enjoy an intimate relationship between stakeholders and the local school system.  While preliminary research exists to suggest rural school turnaround might be more likely to occur when a strong communal connection exists (Mette, 2014), little is known about rural school turnaround efforts serving predominantly Native American students.  This article reports findings of a School Improvement Grants (SIG) funded effort to digitize curriculum and deliver instruction through the use of tablets in Yellow Pine, a school district on a Native American reservation in a rural, Upper Midwestern state.  Data were collected through interviews with school and district leaders, as well as through teacher focus groups.  Findings highlight the failure to engage a historically disenfranchised community from the beginning of the improvement process, particularly the lack of involvement of students, parents, and teachers, which in turn led to little impact on student achievement.


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Author Biographies

Ian M. Mette, University of Maine

Ian Mette is an Assistant Professor in Educational Leadership at the University of Maine.  His areas of research and teaching interests include school reform, teacher supervision, and the merging of the two to drive real, meaningful improvement of instruction.

Jason Stanoch, University of Missouri

Jason Stanoch is a practicing school administrator and research practitioner in Minnesota.  He is also a recent Ed.D. graduate from the University of Missouri.  His areas of research and teaching interests include teacher supervision, teacher preparation, and school improvement efforts that connect theory to practice in meaningful ways that lead to increased student achievement.

How to Cite
Mette, I. M., & Stanoch, J. (2018). School Turnaround: A Rural Reflection of Reform on the Reservation and Lessons for Implementation. The Rural Educator, 37(2).
Research Articles