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Jspr Vol 35-N4

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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 Associate Editor

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SUSAN C. BON

This issue of the Journal of School Public Relations pre- sents a variety of perspectives that should be of particular interest to public school officials, including principals and educators, as well as university officials. Several articles are specific to public and community relations, such as the lead article, by Skye C. Cooley, Laura Richardson Walton, and Kelli Conrad. In “Leadership in the Classroom: An Examination of Exposure to Leadership Theory and Training in Public Relations Course Curricula,” they examine the role of leadership theory in public relations undergraduate course curricula. Although leadership theory is modestly addressed in the undergraduate public relations courses, the authors conclude that more effort is focused on skills training rather than on leadership. As such, Cooley and colleagues assert the need to modify the curricula to include leadership theory as well as the application of leadership theory to the public relations profession.

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Leadership in the Classroom: An Examination of Exposure to Leadership Theory and Training in Public Relations Course Curricula

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SKYE C. COOLEY
LAURA RICHARDSON WALTON
KELLI CONRAD

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is twofold: first, to take an initial step toward determining whether leadership theory is valued in public relations (PR) undergraduate education; second, to explore the focus on leadership as a distinct pedagogical concentration within the leading undergraduate PR programs in the United States. The results indicate that most departments offer one or two leadership-specific courses within the PR curriculum. However, PR instruction focuses more on skills training than leadership theory. It appears that PR professors do an adequate job teaching students good management skills, but curricula need more focus on theoretical understanding of leadership and application within the PR profession.

Effective leadership in public relations (PR) is crucial to the success, image, and future of the profession (Berger & Reber, 2006). As such, leadership development should be a critical and prominent component of classroom training for PR students to ensure both the success of individual practitioners and the future professionalism of the field. Cameron, Sallot, and Weaver-Lariscy (1996) argue that educators have a responsibility to train students in such a manner that they understand how to perform and succeed as professionals. Yet, how well leadership training is systematically integrated into undergraduate PR curricula remains an underdeveloped line of inquiry.

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Summer Expeditions: A Messaging Content Analysis Through the Critical Race Theory Lens

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MICHAEL KATEMAN
CYNTHIA M. FRISBY

ABSTRACT: This case study explores a public school district–private college program that has been designed to promote access to higher education for marginalized fifth and sixth graders. Through content analysis and a framework merging critical race theory with critical discourse analysis, we examined how a private college uses public relations to develop trust and communicate with stakeholders about the program and the college’s mission to serve marginalized stakeholders. Based on the findings, recommendations include the need to improve communication between the college and community. Foremost, the college should create future messaging that helps deconstruct the macrostructures that reinforce racism and the marginalization of students. Through public relations training and subsequent awareness, college messages can be sensitized regarding matters of race and racism.

In the summer of 2011, Columbia College promised at-risk, high-potential elementary students participating in the Columbia Public Schools Summer Expeditions program a substantial scholarship if they matriculated to Columbia College, creating in their parents hope and expectations of a brighter future for their children (Taylor, 2014). Columbia Public Schools defines “at risk, high potential” as students who are ethnic minorities and/or qualify for free or reduced-price lunch and do not qualify for the district’s gifted program. The amount of and the qualifications for this scholarship have not been defined as these students become rising 10th graders, yet messaging from the college promoting the program and discussions on the scholarship continue each year. Parents and guardians of these students continue to ask Columbia Public Schools officials about the scholarship’s qualifications, monetary value, and application process (T. Simmons, personal communication, July 11, 2014; Taylor, 2014), and the college has committed to define the scholarship and communicate the definition by the end of calendar year 2014 (Kate-man, 2014). By not doing so breaks a promise made three years ago and further marginalizes an underrepresented group with aspirations of a higher education.

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Educators’ Perceptions of the Significance of School–Community Relations in China

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ZHIDING SHU
BINBIN JIANG
MEIMEI XU
TAK CHEUNG CHAN

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to investigate Chinese educators’ perceptions on school–community relations. This is a descriptive study with quantitative and qualitative components that emerged following the solicitation, review, and analysis of 75 Chinese educators’ perceptions. On the basis of the results, we concluded that Chinese educators understood the importance of community involvement to foster student success. In response to this increased awareness, the Chinese educators also reported that they planned to work with parents and community members to foster a positive environment in support of education.

S chools are created to educate the children of the communities in which they are located. Therefore, a positive relationship between a school and its community is important to create a supportive environment for education. Educators at the school level are in the forefront of meeting with community members, including parents of students. They play a key role in promoting collaborative school community relations. As Draper and Protheroe (2010) stated,

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Supporting Preservice Teachers’ Collaboration With School Leaders

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ANGELA CLARK -LOUQUE
YVETTE LATUNDE

ABSTRACT: To meet state and national standards, preservice special education training programs include content on communicating and collaborating effectively with school administrators. To incorporate modeling in teacher training, preservice special education programs must structure collaboration throughout the content of the program and provide field experiences that meet the challenges of establishing appropriate types of communication for collaborative endeavors. This study found that the clinical practice experiences of 29 preservice special educators were linked to the course content of their collaboration classes. Special education teacher candidates collaborated and communicated with school administrators mostly about student assessments, placements, and progress. Participants also stated that their conversations with administrators focused on teacher observations and evaluations. These communicative and collaborative activities with administrators occurred primarily during faculty meetings, special education department meetings, and individualized education plan meetings. Although the topics, as well as the strategies, that participants used in their communication met the standards, it did not always translate into collaboration. Results suggest that the connection between fieldwork experiences and course content is essential in creating links between theory and practice.

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Does District Performance and the Regional Labor Market Influence How Districts Pay Principals in California?

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HENRY TRAN

ABSTRACT: This study seeks to address whether past performance influences how districts pay principals in California and whether that relationship changes after accounting for wages of the principals’ regional labor market. Evidence from this study provided affirmations to both questions. Using multiple regression analysis on principal salaries, I found a positive relationship between principal salaries and past performance (b = .51, p < .001); furthermore, the salary premium falls when wages of the regional labor market for principals is accounted for. The coefficients for both past performance and the regional labor market wage remain significant after accounting for several control variables. This supports the theory that past performance and the regional labor market wages both have influences on principal salaries. Furthermore, the coefficient for past performance remains a significant predictor of salaries when additional prior years of performance are accounted for, suggesting the existence of a salary premium for not only performance level but growth as well. Recommendation for future research is provided.

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