Kai A. Schafft

Kai A. Schafft
Pennsylvania State University | Penn State · Department of Education Policy Studies

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54
Publications
30,514
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2,011
Citations

Publications

Publications (54)
Article
This article, which also serves as the introduction for this special guest‐edited issue, examines the history of Rural Sociology's scholarly engagement with rurality, race, and ethnicity. We examine the historical patterns of how Rural Sociology has addressed race and ethnicity, and then present results from a meta‐analysis of empirical articles pu...
Article
Full-text available
This article discusses the growing political divide in the United States and how ideological polarization has increasingly assumed spatial dimensions, as rural areas have become strongly associated with Republican support, and urban areas have become associated with strong Democratic support. In the context of the recent Trump administration, marke...
Chapter
Among educational reforms in the United States over the last two decades, the charter school movement has emblemised policies promoting school choice. While proponents point to the potential for educational innovation and the expansion of educational opportunities for students, charter school expansion has also created significant debate and contro...
Article
In Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region, the recent shale gas boom profoundly reshaped communities, local institutions, and living circumstances for many residents. We focus on one particular local institution – the public school – to investigate the relationship between unconventional gas development and education funding. Using geographic inform...
Article
Boomtown development refers to rapid economic and demographic change typically associated with energy development and natural resource extraction. Historically, boomtown scholarship has focused on local perceptions, disruptions and/or adaptations to boomtown development or, alternately, has examined such development temporally over the boom-bust-re...
Article
In this article we address the role of rural schools in community development. We first discuss the largely historical linkages between rural schools and the communities they serve, and what this means for both school and community well-being. We then consider the newly revised standards for preparing school administrators, developed by the Interst...
Article
Full-text available
Pennsylvania is a state with significant proportions of students who attend rural schools, as well as students who attend charter schools. This study examines enrollment patterns of students in brick and mortar and cyber charter schools in Pennsylvania and how these enrollment patterns differ across geographic locale. We analyze student-level enrol...
Article
It’s been just over a decade since Unconventional Oil and Gas development began in earnest in the Marcellus Shale, a dense shale formation that, along with the deeper and larger Utica Shale, covers much of the mid-Atlantic United States. Since January 2008, approximately 15,939 wells have been drilled and fracked at 5674 sites across these shales....
Article
In the middle of the first decade of this century new technological innovations enabled the extraction of natural gas through the use of hydraulic fracturing within gas-bearing shale and other unconventional energy reserves. As a consequence, many places, often in economically lagging rural areas, saw dramatic change as they were socially and econo...
Article
This paper examines the perspectives of local Roma leaders regarding the ongoing impacts, contradictions and civic outcomes of Hungary’s 1993 Act 77 on the Rights of National and Ethnic Minorities, legislation that created the framework for minority self-governance among Hungary’s thirteen recognized minority groups. We use interview data with Roma...
Article
The mobilities ‘turn' within human geography and the social sciences has drawn attention to the ways in which social connections and interactions variously transcend, undo and reconfigure spatial boundaries and identities. In this study we utilise mobilities theory to analyse Marcellus Shale gas boomtown growth in Pennsylvania and the experiences o...
Article
Exploring cases of gas and coal extraction in Australia and the U.S.A., this paper considers instances in which legal and political frameworks have been used to prioritise development interests and minimise opportunities for community objection. Two case studies illustrate the role of law and the influence of politics on environmental conflict, con...
Article
Full-text available
Using individual-level student data from Pennsylvania, this study explores the extent to which charter school racial composition may be an important factor in students’ self-segregative school choices. Findings indicate that, holding distance and enrollment constant, Black and Latino students are strongly averse to moving to charter schools with hi...
Article
Despite the significant proportions of rural Americans, schools, and public school students situated in the geographic peripheries of an increasingly urbanizing country, rural education in the United States has consistently occupied both scholarly and policy peripheries. This is to the detriment of rural America, especially to the extent that publi...
Article
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The influx of natural gas infrastructure and laborers associated with Marcellus Shale development has raised questions regarding the presence of a “boomtown” effect on Pennsylvania’s rural communities. This chapter examines quantitative and qualitative data gathered from four Pennsylvania counties to assess how various social indicators, including...
Article
Full-text available
This article examines how student movements between traditional public schools (TPSs) and charters—both brick and mortar and cyber—may be associated with both racial isolation and poverty concentration. Using student-level data from the universe of Pennsylvania public schools, this study builds upon previous research by specifically examining stude...
Article
Far from being the harmonious and homogenous communities of popular imagination, rural communities often are characterised by stark differences in class-situated values over education philosophy and financing. These differences can produce contentious political environments, vastly complexifying local decision-making, including school district poli...
Article
Across vast swaths of mostly rural Pennsylvania, dramatic social, economic, and environmental transformations have occurred in the last five years as these regions have experienced a new natural resource boom in the form of unconventional natural gas extraction from the Marcellus Shale formation. While Pennsylvania's former Governor, Tom Corbett, a...
Article
Innovations associated with gas and oil drilling technology, including new hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques, have recently led to dramatic boomtown development in many rural areas that have endured extended periods of economic decline. The Marcellus Shale play, one of the world's largest gas-bearing shale formations, lies ben...
Article
An extended body of research has documented the outmigration of the "best and brightest" youth from rural areas. Some of this scholarship has suggested that rural schools and educators may be complicit in this process as they devote extra attention and resources to the highest achieving students-those most likely to leave their rural communities af...
Article
Using survey and interview data gathered from educators and educational administrators, we investigate school and community impacts of unconventional gas extraction within Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale region. Respondents in areas with high levels of drilling are significantly more likely to perceive the effects of local economic gains, but also r...
Article
This article uses a Kuhnian framework to explain the adoption of the transformative paradigm in pragmatically informed mixed methods research. We argue that pragmatism represents a model of “normal science” among many mixed methods researchers and that Kuhn’s concept of the scientific anomaly provides an instructive metaphor for understanding what...
Article
Local control of schooling has been considered a defining feature of the American school system; however, in the past several decades public schooling has also increasingly been subject to the influence of extralocal institutional mandates that encourage curricular and organizational standardization. We conducted a content analysis of 480 school di...
Article
Recent advances in gas and oil drilling technology have led to dramatic boomtown development in many rural areas that have endured extended periods of economic decline. In Pennsylvania's Marcellus gas fields, the recent development of unconventional shale gas resources has not been without controversy. It has been variously framed as a major opport...
Article
We would like to thank Dr. James Overholt for his help in contacting interview subjects involved in the moonshine trade. Without his enthusiastic support, and without the generous participation of the people of Cocke County, this project would never have been possible. Appalachia is a region richly mythologized in U.S. culture, and in many ways, th...
Article
The proliferation of farm to school (FTS) programming in US schools emerges out of a convergence of recent trends facing agricultural producers and food consumers and as such represents part of a broader effort to relocalize food systems and build new connections between schools, producers, and communities. This mixed method study examines the curr...
Article
Poverty is frequently conceptualized as an attribute of either people or places. Yet residential movement of poor people can redistribute poverty across places, affecting and reshaping the spatial concentration of economic disadvantage. In this article, we utilize 1995 to 2000 county-to-county migration data from the 2000 United States decennial ce...
Article
Abstract  Human capital models assume residential mobility is both voluntary and opportunity-driven. Residential mobility of low income households, however, often does not fit these assumptions. Often characterized by short-distance, high frequency movement, poverty-related mobility may only deepen the social and economic instability that precipita...
Article
Full-text available
Educational researchers have long sought to understand the factors that enable or constrain persistence in non-formal adult education and family literacy programs. Scholars typically posit three sets of factors influencing persistence: situational (learners’ life circumstances), institutional (programmatic factors), and dispositional (learners’ per...
Article
Full-text available
Supportive social relationships are an important dimension of marginalized women's participation in community-based adult education programs. However, policy makers and researchers often consider these social dimensions to be tangential or secondary to instrumental outcomes such as obtaining employment or increasing standardized test scores. Drawin...
Article
Abstract  The concept of the food desert, an area with limited access to retail food stores, has increasingly been used within social scientific and public health research to explore the dimensions of spatial inequality and community well-being. While research has demonstrated that food deserts are frequently characterized by higher levels of pover...
Article
Interest in and initiation of farm-to-school (FTS) programs have increased in recent years, spurred on by converging public concerns about child obesity trends and risks associated with industrialization and distancing in the modern food system. A civic agriculture framework that more specifically considers civic engagement and problem solving offe...
Article
We draw on interactional community theory to analyze the relationship between information technology and local development through a case study of a geographically isolated and economically disadvantaged rural school district. This district has used state-of-the-art information technology infrastructure in a broad-based community and economic devel...
Article
The dominant economic discourse of the industrialized world — in political, academic, and popular terms — is neoclassical economics. A founding proposition is that an “invisible hand” aggregates individual decisions driven by rational self-interest into socially optimal outcomes. We draw upon economics as well as the sociology and philosophy of sci...
Article
Chronic student mobility, and in particular the mobility of students from low-income backgrounds, poses a serious yet underdocumented problem for rural schools. This article combines analyses of state-level school district data with survey and interview data to examine the patterns of low-income student mobility in upstate New York, and to assess t...
Article
Full-text available
Participatory approaches currently occupy a prominent position in community development practice. However, despite the claims made for the benefits of participation for community members and practitioners alike, critical reflections on how participatory approaches shape the longer-term processes of community development have been relatively few. Th...
Article
Patterns of low-income student mobility were examined in rural upstate New York, along with impacts on and responses by communities and schools. Analyses of state-level school district data were combined with surveys and interviews with school district administrators. The study focused on 136 persistently poor districts (consistently in the bottom...
Article
This paper investigates the patterns of population redistribution in contemporary Hungary to better understand the demographic articulations of post-socialist restructuring. We analyze published data for 1980–1997, and machine-readable municipal-level data for 1990–1997 to find that post-socialist restructuring coincides with pronounced population...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The paper shows the summary of latest results of a Hungarian rural household survey in 1998. It was based on 751 rural household interviews from three different regions. The questionnaire focused on the next issues: • Participation in both the formal and informal economies; • Utilization of social welfare; • Prevalence of different exchange types;...
Article
This study investigates the determinants of Roma local minority self-government (LMSG) capacity in Hungary and the role of Roma LMSGs in community development. Following the work of Woolcock (1998), Granovetter (1973; 1985) and others, we develop and operationalize a multi-dimensional framework of aggregate-level social capital to investigate facto...

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Project (1)
Project
A collection of various research studies on family literacy programs and participants.