Communicating for Change
What Educators Must Know and Be Able to Do
It’s been 23 years between President Reagan’s warning of “a nation at risk” by a “rising tide of mediocrity” and President Bush’s advocacy of “no child left behind” by the “soft bigotry of low expectations.” Over the years, a lot has changed in the worlds of media, marketing, and public relations—and without changes of corresponding sophistication or significance in education communications. More “woefully inadequate” than the performance of U.S. schools and students is the degree to which communications in the education marketplace advance meaningful changes that yield better teaching and learning.
Even corporations dominating other fields find that they can’t use standard tricks of the trade to command consumer opinion or market share in education. Those who do well in the education market focus on essential aspects of public engagement. We’ve learned the hard way that traditional marketing and PR tactics predicated on the quick sale of ideas proffer perilously weak support—insufficient to sustain commitment or muster the political will to affect policy and practice in education.
Here are a dozen lessons learned...
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- Elementary Principal
- Forest Grove School District, Forest Grove, OR
- Assistant/Associate Professor, Literacy
- Regis University, Denver, CO
- Director of School Support
- The Achievement Network, Multiple Locations
- Perspectives Charter Schools, Chicago, IL
- Princeton Public School District, Princeton, NJ