Rural areas in many parts of the U.S. experience population decline from outmigration. Geographic mobility has long been a contributing factor to the social and economic instability of rural communities; high-achieving and ambitious youth are inclined to leave rural areas to take advantage of the expansive economic opportunities and cultural and lifestyle amenities typically found in metropolitan locations. Here I review 20 years of research on rural population loss and migration theory to anticipate how patterns of rural youth mobility might intersect with the Common Core State Standards’ emphasis on preparing high-school students to be career and college ready. Given that the migration decisions of rural youth stem from a complex process that includes a range of social, economic, cultural, and environmental factors, I argue that certain types of rural communities are likely to be more strongly affected by the Common Core as are certain types of rural youth.

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