The Failure of Education Summary

Schools in Appalachian mountains which are often isolated, underfunded and small are poorly suited to the task of secondary education. In 71 Appalachian counties, less than three-fourths of adults had completed high school, and nearly half of these counties were in Kentucky alone; just 76 percent of adults in the state’s Appalachian counties had a high school diploma or more in 2010-2014. Appalachian Kentucky has a long history of systemic poverty and inadequately funded education: the two seem forever bound to one another. For many years, the poor and rural mountainous areas received little money or attention from the state to build schools or an education system. The lack of funding shows up in academic performance as students in rural Appalachia often fall below national averages for reading, math, and science.