Medium 9781475823691

Jspr Vol 23-N2

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The Journal of School Public Relations is a quarterly publication providing research, analysis, case studies and descriptions of best practices in six critical areas of school administration: public relations, school and community relations, community education, communication, conflict management/resolution, and human resources management. Practitioners, policymakers, consultants and professors rely on the Journal for cutting-edge ideas and current knowledge. Articles are a blend of research and practice addressing contemporary issues ranging from passing bond referenda to building support for school programs to integrating modern information.

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Notes From the Editor

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THEODORE J. KOWALSKI

The Journal’s editorial review board welcomes seven new members:

Michael P. Benway, Ph.D., superintendent, Valparaiso Community Schools, Valparaiso, Indiana

Lars G. Björk, Ed.D., associate professor, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky

Marsha Chappelow, Ph.D., assistant superintendent for communication services, Blue Valley Unified School District 229, Overland Park, Kansas

Gerard Fowler, J.D., Ph.D., associate professor, St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri

John Keedy, Ed.D., professor, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky

George Peterson, Ph.D., Associate professor, University of Missouri–Columbia and associate executive director, University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA)

Mimi Wolverton, Ph.D., associate professor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Wayne K. Hoy, the Fawcett Professor in educational administration at the Ohio State University, is the author of this issue’s feature article. An internationally known scholar, his books, research, and articles focusing on organizational behavior in schools are widely used in administrator preparation programs. In this article, Professor Hoy examines a most timely communication and school reform topic—faculty trust and its effect on student achievement.

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Faculty Trust: A Key to Student Achievement

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WAYNE K. HOY

ABSTRACT: This inquiry is an analysis of faculty trust. First, the complex nature and meaning of the construct is explored, including its many facets, and a comprehensive definition of trust is proposed. Then the relationship between faculty trust in students and parents and its impact on student achievement is examined in a diverse sample of 97 high schools. Finally, based on the findings of the study, a set of recommendations is proposed for boards and school leaders to build, improve, and nurture trust among students, parents, and teachers.

Trust is a little like water—we all pay little attention to it until we need it but don’t have it. Yet, it seems axiomatic that if schools are to prosper and succeed, trust is crucial. Credibility and trust, however, are perishable commodities within any organization; they must be continually nurtured and renewed if they are to survive and grow (Schulman, 1993). Unfortunately, too often trust is reduced to a slogan or empty rhetoric. Principals exhort teachers to “just trust me.” Teachers insist that parents trust them to know what is best for their children. Students have little choice than to trust their learning to teachers; they are asked to believe the statements of teachers often without much independent evidence. Moreover, students who do not trust teachers and parents often build barriers to learning as they distance themselves from schools and build an alienated, rebellious youth culture.

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School Public Relations and the Principalship: An Interview With Darrell Rud

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LENOAR FOSTER

JANET A. GUYDEN

What would snapshots of the characteristics, roles, expectations, perceptions, and challenges of the contemporary principalship reveal? Recent reports on the principalship paint a picture of an individual whose work and activities are becoming increasingly more complex and demanding.

A myriad of tasks and responsibilities confront the principal on a daily basis. They include the need to establish an effective and nurturing learning climate for students, the need to provide strong and focused instructional leadership, and the need to address and solve personnel issues related to parental concerns, school discipline, and school safety. These and other responsibilities require the principal to balance management and instructional leadership. Importantly, these two role expectations increasingly place the principal in the public spotlight where communication and public relations skills are essential to win the support of internal and external stakeholders.

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School Public Relations and the Principalship: An Interview With Denny R. Vincent

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BONNIE C. JOHNSON

Principals today place more importance on and are spending more time on communication, marketing, public affairs, and public relations and engagement activities than ever before (NAESP, 2000). In the past, the central office was often in charge of public relations activities, but today increased parental and public demands on schools have compelled school-level administrators to play a greater role in promoting a positive reputation for their school.

The following is an interview with Denny Vincent, president of the 35,000 member National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). Vincent has been a school administrator for over 23 years. He spent 11 years as an assistant principal, and for the past 12 years he has served as principal at Muhlenberg North High School in Greenville, Kentucky. In 1997, Vincent became a member of NASSP’s board of directors, and in 2002 he was elected as the organization’s president. His term in this position began in March 2002. The following interview focuses on Vincent’s views concerning the secondary school principal’s role in school public relations.

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Strategic Planning Imperatives for Educators: Creating Advantage in an Emerging Competition-Based Market

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JOSEPH A. SCHENK

JULIE A. SCHAID

ABSTRACT: Public education is operating in an era of intensifying competition. In addition, state governments and local communities are increasingly demanding that schools demonstrate tangible evidence of improvement over time. How can educational leaders improve their districts’ performance in this competition and accountability-focused era? The authors explore the impact of four elements of strategic planning: strategic positioning, external and internal analysis, measurable objectives, and evaluation with corrective action. Examining both the literature that guides districts in the development of strategic plans and actual district plans, the authors identify areas of weakness and suggest ways districts can create a competitive advantage.

Effective leadership of public schools in the new millennium requires a recognition that public education is operating in an era of intensifying competition. Vouchers, charter schools, private for-profit educational enterprises, and home schooling are increasingly commonplace realities with which public schools must compete. Even in the cases of districts that face no immediate threat of outside competition, state governments and local communities are increasingly demanding that public schools compete with themselves—that is, schools are being required to demonstrate tangible evidence of improvement over time. Yet, all too often, forward progress is admittedly vague; or governmentally imposed in ways that allow interdistrict comparison, but may not be the best measures of educational progress. How then can educational leaders better demonstrate improvement in their districts’ performance in this competition-focused era?

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Engaging the Public in Public Schools Through School Choice

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JUDITH C. HOULE

ABSTRACT: Educators and policymakers are currently engaged in a debate regarding the merits of school choice as a vehicle for improving education. Unfortunately, two distinctively different approaches to implementing this concept—choice within public education and choice between private and public education—frequently get confused. Often this failure to discriminate between the alternatives results in the blanket rejection of choice as a reform concept. The case study in this article demonstrates how one suburban elementary school district successfully increased public participation by adopting an in-district choice program. Factors that enabled and inhibited implementation of the choice program and parental and educator views about it are used to demonstrate effective approaches to engaging the community in public education.

One of our nation’s most controversial education reform initiatives is school choice. This issue has been raised in political and education circles as a necessary companion to government mandated standards and accountability for all students. Most importantly, school choice has raised fundamental questions regarding the purposes of public education and its effectiveness.

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Community Support for Education: The Success Story of the HOT Program

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TAK CHEUNG CHAN

MING FANG HE

KAREN MARTIN

ABSTRACT: Helping Our Teachers (HOT) program is a unique community volunteer program that started in 2000 at Julia Bryant Elementary School in Statesboro, Georgia. In the HOT program, volunteers are organized to assist teachers and staff by participating in school-related activities. The success of the program, recognized by teachers and administrators, is attributed to parental support, teacher involvement, and a positive environment created by the administration. The HOT program has proved to be a great asset to the Julia Bryant Elementary School.

The purpose of the HOT program is to formally organize all parent volunteers to help teachers and staff by participating in school-related activities. Julia P. Bryant Elementary School has had an excellent record of strong community support. An abundance of dedicated parents, grandparents, and family members have donated hundreds of hours to the school. Due to the growing number of students in the school and a shortage in paraprofessionals, a need for volunteers has increased considerably. The HOT program addresses this need by recruiting parent volunteers to assist the teachers and staff with various activities that enhance day-to-day school operations.

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