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JSPR Vol 34-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 Special Edition Editor

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I. PHILLIP YOUNG

This theme issue of the Journal of School Public Relations addresses the relationship between public relations and human resource issues within the public school setting. In the lead article, “Teacher Performance Pay Programs and Necessary Communication Actions,” Herbert G. Heneman III, Robin Worth, Jessica Arrigoni, Steven M. Kimball, and Anthony Milanowski review three pay programs and identified seven major components likely to affect program outcomes. They recommend a three-prong concerted communication approach to increase the success of performance pay programs.

In the second article, “An Efficiency Assessment Among Empirically Defined Labor Markets for Determining Pay for Teachers,” Henry Tran and I focus on establishing pay for public school teachers via a fixed-rate salary schedule. We assess the efficiency of four relevant labor markets that could be used to set teacher pay. Multivariate analysis of variance results indicate that all potential labor markets are equally efficient for entry-level pay amounts but differ according to the average salary paid teachers.

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Teacher Performance Pay Programs and Necessary Communication Actions

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HERBERT G. HENEMAN III

ROBIN WORTH

JESSICA ARRIGONI

STEVEN M. KIMBALL

ANTHONY MILANOWSKI

ABSTRACT: Teacher performance pay programs have proliferated across the country over the past 20 years. To aid in understanding their many variations, the seven major components of these programs are described. Three examples of teacher performance pay programs are provided for illustration: Denver ProComp, TAP, and Houston ASPIRE. Evidence is mixed on the impact of performance pay programs in general. We suggest that flawed communication strategy and action accompanying the programs have likely contributed to weak, if any, impact. We suggest the use of a three-pronged concerted communication approach: communication strategy, communication action plan, and communication supports. We provide specific examples for each prong.

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An Efficiency Assessment Among Empirically Defined Labor Markets for Determining Pay for Teachers

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HENRY TRAN

I. PHILLIP YOUNG

ABSTRACT: Fundamental to updating a fixed-rate salary schedule for teachers is the reliance on a relevant labor market containing comparisons to other school districts—that is, object school districts, which can be chosen from a policy or empirical/efficiency perspective. As such, four relevant markets having roots in neoclassical economic literature—supply and demand, economy of scale, ability to pay, and cost–benefit—served as our single independent variable, defined by a least squares sum of difference between object school districts (n = 200) and target school districts (n = 5) composing a potential relevant labor market. These districts were cast into a 5 (target) × 4 (object) randomized block design, and efficiency was assessed according to two dependent variables: entry-level salary and average teacher salary. Multivariate analysis of variance results indicate that all potential labor markets are equally efficient for entry-level pay amounts but differ according to the average salary paid teachers. Collectively, these findings have implications for establishing teacher pay amounts and increases in the field setting, from a policy perspective and for a negotiated labor contract.

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Implementing a Cross-District Principal Mentoring Program: A Human Resources Approach to Developing Midcareer Principals’ Leadership Capacities

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MATTHEW R. DELLA SALA

HANS W. KLAR

JANE CLARK LINDLE

KENYAE L. REESE

ROBERT C. KNOEPPEL

MICHAEL CAMPBELL

FREDERICK C. BUSKEY

ABSTRACT: Despite the key role that principals play in leading schoolwide change, districts’ efforts to support principals are often limited, particularly in rural settings. In this article, we report the preliminary findings of a cross-district mentoring program for nine midcareer rural school principals. The collaboratively developed human resource initiative was intended to increase the principals’ capacities to use data to lead change in their schools. The program helped the principals address their schools’ improvement needs and determine their own professional learning requirements. Cross-district support was key to the success of the initiative. We conclude with practical implications for implementing similar mentoring programs.

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Social Media Use—and Misuse—by Teachers: Looking to the Courts for Human Resource Policy Guidance

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SUSAN C. BON

JUSTIN BATHON

ANNE-MARIE BALZANO

ABSTRACT: School districts are facing a sensationalized and alarming trend of unprofessional conduct and social media misuse by public school teachers. Likewise, recent court cases as well as highly publicized scandals raise concern that inappropriate relationships between teachers and students can be initiated through online social media. These emergent trends are posing significant challenges for human resource leaders responsible for initiating disciplinary and dismissal proceedings against teachers who engage in unprofessional or inappropriate behaviors. In an effort to increase awareness and understanding of the emerging social media use phenomenon, we identified recent court cases, along with a sampling of school district technology and social media use policies. We then analyzed the cases and district policies from a legal as well as human resource perspective. Finally, we identified possible policy initiatives that human resource personnel should consider adopting in response to the challenging online and social media use by educators, including specific suggestions for inclusion in newly adopted social media policies in many districts.

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Trust and Organizational Citizenship: Moderating the Effects of School Socioeconomic Status

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PAGE A. SMITH

ABSTRACT: This study examines the relationships between faculty trust and the organizational citizenship behaviors of elementary school teachers. The central research question of the investigation was “What aspects of organizational trust are the best predictors of organizational citizenship?” In a sample of 112 elementary schools in south-central Texas, data were collected from teachers and aggregated at the school level. Trust in colleagues and trust in clients emerged as statistically significant and independent predictors of organizational citizenship. However, neither student socioeconomic status nor school size proved to be predictors of organizational citizenship.

Successful organizations focus on providing optimum results while maximizing employee output and increasing institutional effectiveness. A considerable amount of the management literature is dedicated to identifying and understanding behaviors that positively contribute to overall organizational performance. Accordingly, recent developments in organizational science areas addressing human resources issues have motivated researchers and scholars to focus on the importance of trust. Research shows that without stakeholder trust, interpersonal communication and organizational effectiveness are compromised (Axelrod, 1984; Gambetta, 1988; Good, 1988a; Mayer, Davis, & Schoorman, 1995; McAllister, 1995). Moreover, scholars have pursued the concept of collective trust and how its presence or absence affects organizations. In particular, the literature indicates that high trust levels among the faculty, principal, and clients (students and parents) support an environment conducive to increased student achievement (Goddard, Tschannen-Moran, & Hoy, 2001; Hoy, Tarter, & Witkoskie, 1992; P. A. Smith, Hoy, & Sweetland, 2001; Tarter, Sabo, & Hoy, 1995; Tschannen-Moran, 2004). Indeed, the cultivation of trust represents a critical factor in the development of healthy and purposefully directed schools (Hoy, Hoffman, Sabo, & Bliss, 1996; Hoy et al., 1992; P. A. Smith, 2000; P. A. Smith & Hoy, 2004; Tarter, Bliss, & Hoy 1989; Tarter et al., 1995).

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