Medium 9781475823981

Jspr Vol 32-N3

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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

Iam pleased to announce that Dr. Arthur Stellar is now the book review editor for this journal. He has expansive knowledge of education, understands how to communicate in this field, and has authored many book reviews (including several in this issue). Dr. Stellar most recently served as superintendent of the Burke County Public Schools in North Carolina, which has been named one of the five “most productive” districts in the state by the Center for American Progress. He previously served as a superintendent in Massachusetts, New York, Georgia, Oklahoma, and West Virginia, as well as in other professional positions in Ohio and Maryland. He also served as chief education officer and vice president for Renaissance Learning and president and CEO of High/Scope Educational Research Foundation. Readers who are interested in submitting book reviews are encouraged to contact him via e-mail: artstellar@yahoo.com.

In addition to book reviews, this issue includes three articles. The first is authored by Drs. Linda Anast-May, Mark Mitchell (both from Coastal Carolina University), Barbara Chesler Buckner (Columbus State University), and Cindy Elsberry (superintendent of the Horry County Schools in South Carolina). Their research focuses on the role of school principals as marketing managers, and the findings were derived from data collected from 60 principals.

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School Principals as Marketing Managers: The Expanding Role of Marketing for School Development

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LINDA ANAST-MAY

MARK MITCHELL

BARBARA CHESLER BUCKNER

CINDY ELSBERRY

ABSTRACT: This study examined the relative importance that school principals attach to aspects of their role as marketing managers for their schools and their relative satisfaction with their efforts to date. The study included 60 principals from two school districts. Findings suggest that principals are aware of the importance of marketing in today’s increasingly complex marketplace for education. These leaders may not always use marketing jargon or even marketing models to guide them. Still, they are active marketing managers. The sample group is somewhat satisfied with their marketing performance to date but acknowledged areas for improvement.

Leaders of public schools find themselves in an increasingly competitive environment, as today’s consumers (i.e., families) have more educational choices, including charter schools, private schools, online schools, home schools, specialized academies and programs for gifted students, early college programs, and other options. Gone are the days when the local public school educated all of the local children. Even within local school districts, specialized schools and programs are being created that attract students from across the district, including academies for arts, science, and technology. This competition can be expanded beyond competition for students to include financial resources, volunteer time, media attention, teachers, staff, and other components of school life.

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Success Despite Socioeconomics: A Case Study of a High-Achieving, High-Poverty School

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THOMAS BRENT TILLEY

SAMUEL J. SMITH

RUSSELL L. CLAXTON

ABSTRACT: This case study of a high-achieving, high-poverty school describes the school’s leadership, culture, and programs that contributed to its success. Data were collected from two surveys (the School Culture Survey and the Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education), observations at the school site, and interviews with school personnel. The study revealed school leadership that had high expectations for staff members and emphasized small group instruction, collaboration, and continuous improvement in instructional practices. The culture of the school was that of excellence, continuous improvement, school pride, and collaboration.

The State of Florida, as part of its accountability system for public schools, assigns grades to schools based on student performance on standardized achievement tests. In 2009–2010, all but 1 of the 96 elementary schools that were rated D or F were high-poverty schools (Florida Department of Education, 2010). This strong correlation between poverty and low academic achievement has been well documented. For example, Harris (2007) found that only 1% of high-poverty schools consistently perform in the top third of their state and that low-poverty schools are 89 times more likely than high-poverty schools to achieve in the top third. Overall, low-income students tend to be lower achievers academically and more likely to drop out of school than their higher-income counterparts (Taylor, 2005).

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School and Community Relations: An Interview With Robert Taft—Distinguished Research Associate at the University of Dayton and Former Governor of Ohio

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AMY R. MCGUFFEY

ABSTRACT: In the past, school and college administrators relied heavily on advice from colleagues, largely because they had an internal orientation toward their work. As the social, political, and economic influence of external forces became more apparent, they learned to value input from a range of stakeholders. Robert Taft, former governor of Ohio, is a person who offers unique perspectives on education and politics; he has an impressive background in both areas. In this interview, Governor Taft shares his convictions about school and community relationships and the importance of those associations to school improvement.

McGuffey: Please begin by briefly sharing your professional background, including a description of your current position.

Taft: Currently, I am the distinguished research associate at the University of Dayton. My academic background includes a BA from Yale University, a MPA from Princeton University, and a JD from the University of Cincinnati. I was a Peace Corps teacher, program officer with USAID in South Vietnam, assistant director of the Illinois Bureau of the Budget, an Ohio state legislator [state representative], a Hamilton County [Ohio] commissioner, and secretary of state and then governor of Ohio.

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