Biddle speaks with BDN about rural education

Catharine Biddle, an assistant professor of educational leadership at the University of Maine, was quoted in a Bangor Daily News article about rural Aroostook County shattering expectations at sending high schoolers on to higher education. The ideal rural school helps bridge the gap between home life and academics, according to Biddle. Making that connection means not only hiring teachers and administrators who understand rural life, but providing health services, school lunches and vocational guidance that would otherwise be inaccessible to students, the article states. “Programs based around that are the ones I’ve seen be the most successful,” she said. Small, rural schools often face challenges stemming from their location: They can be isolated from many of the enrichment opportunities available in urban or suburban regions, the BDN reported. Their size, however, can also be one of their biggest assets, Biddle said, adding that when everyone knows one another, it can be easier to understand what students really need.