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Journal of School Public Relations

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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59 Issues

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Journal of School Public Relations Vol 37-N3 3
Journal of School Public Relations Vol 37-N2 4
Journal of School Public Relations Vol 37-N1 5
Journal of School Public Relations Vol 36-N4 6
Journal of School Public Relations Vol 36-N3 5
Journal of School Public Relations Vol 36-N2 5
Journal of School Public Relations Vol 36-N1 6
Journal of School Public Relations Vol 35-N4 6
Journal of School Public Relations Vol 35-N3 6
Journal of School Public Relations Vol 35-N2 8
Journal of School Public Relations Vol 35-N1 7
Journal of School Public Relations Vol 34-N4 6
Journal of School Public Relations Vol 34-N3 5
Journal of School Public Relations Vol 34-N2 6
Journal of School Public Relations Vol 34-N1 4
Journal of School Public Relations Vol 33-N4 4
Journal of School Public Relations Vol 33-N3 5
Journal of School Public Relations Vol 33-N2 5

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96 Articles

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Notes From the Editor

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THEODORE J. KOWALSKI

Although this is not a theme issue, the articles included have a common thread—they all pertain to relationships. Public relations scholars have long recognized that successful leadership and management depend largely on the ability of administrators to construct and nurture positive associations, both with internal and external stakeholders. The value of relationships has become increasingly obvious as researchers examine the pivotal role of social and political capital in ongoing efforts to improve colleges and schools.

Associations between teachers and students are one of the most important but least recognized linkages that can affect schools. Building on this fact, Bonnie Kosiczky, an assistant principal at North Forsyth (NC) High School, and Carol Mullen, director of the School of Education at Virginia Tech, conducted a study of perceptions related to using humor in classrooms. Their findings suggest that this technique is related to building and strengthening positive relationships. In addition to providing relevant data, Drs. Kosiczky and Mullen offer insights into the implications of their research for school public relations.

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Notes from the Editor

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Notes from the Editor

SUSAN C. BON

In this issue of the Journal of School Public Relations, we decided to highlight previously published articles that had an impact on the field and were widely read. Selecting just a few publications from among the many high quality articles published over the years was not an easy task. I owe a very special thank you to two graduate assistants, Brienne McDaniel and James Holt, who tirelessly reviewed articles and contributed their time and efforts to put together this special issue.

The first two articles explore the relationship between schools and parents employing qualitative and quantitative research methods. In “The Role of Trust in Strengthening Relationships Between Schools and Latino Parents,” Young, Rodriguez, and Lee studied an urban elementary school that served a predominately Latino and low-income community for a full year to examine the implications and effects of trust and distrust on parental involvement. The authors highlight the difference between trust and the concept of respeto, a form of respect in traditional Latino communities that includes a level of deference to authority, and they discuss strategies for building trust in home-school relations.

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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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Notes From the Editor

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I. PHILLIP YOUNG

As many of you may note, the Journal of School Public Relations has a new editor because Dr. Kowalski has elected to pass on his editorial responsibilities. However, during his tenure, he immensely improved the quality of this journal, and his efforts are a difficult act to follow. Consequently, to smooth the transition between editors, his guidance and sage advice will be sought during this year in his role as an emeritus editor.

It is important to note some changes that have occurred and will be continuing to occur. Foremost is the actual location of the journal. For many years, it has been the University of Dayton. Henceforth, the new location will be the University of South Carolina and will be housed in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policies.

Also, there is a change in the editorial assistant. For many years Ms. Elizabeth Pearn was the well-respected go-to person for many of our questions. In the future, please contact Ms. Gwen Lorinovich (LORINOVI@mailbox.sc.edu).

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Notes From the Editor

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Notes From the Editor

Susan C. Bon

Reflected in this issue is a variety of articles. For those who are either new to this journal or are existing readers, please be apprised that the journal has expanded the scope of articles considered and did so to be better competitive in the changing market for scholarly articles having important information for public school public relations personnel. Specifically, to quote our expanded focus as published on the web (see https://rowman.com/Page/JSPR) as well as on the first page of each journal, articles are solicited that address six critical areas in public school and higher education administration: public relations, school and community relations, community education, communication, conflict management/resolution, and human resources management.

Contained in this edition is an article titled “Elevating the Conversation: Relationships, Systems, and Schools,” by Kelly Wachel, a public information officer, that describes how low-performing urban schools can improve student achievement by following a systematic plan of action designed to negate negative perceptions. According to the systematic plan, school public relations officers should focus initially on the perceptions of students and on their values relative to their accountability for learning. To either reinforce or alter these values toward academic achievement, she advocates the involvement of other stakeholders, including parents, other high-achieving school districts, community leaders, and future employers. Specific attention is given to how to create a safe environment as well as an appealing environment where attention is focused on the school’s physical facility because most people judge a book by its cover.

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Notes from the Editor

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Notes from the Editor

SUSAN C. BON

In this issue of the Journal of School Public Relations, authors address an array of topics that impact the decisions made by public school leaders. As explained previously, the journal has expanded its scope to promote success in the increasingly competitive journal publication market and respond to emerging issues in education that impact school public relations professionals. This wider lens includes six critical areas that are central to public school and higher education administrators: public relations, school and community relations, community education, communication, conflict management/resolution, and human resources management. I would like to invite all prospective authors to consider how their scholarly work fits in the Journal of School Public Relations given the expanded scope of topics.

The scope of issues that schools are expected to address and manage has increased dramatically. Many of these issues present significant challenges and potentially lead to poor or strained relationships between schools and local communities. In particular, educators and school leaders must build positive relationships with parents and communities and find ways to bridge the divides between the school and community over complex issues. In this issue, the authors address many of the complex issues that potentially lead to disconnect between school and community and also provide thoughtful advice about handling these challenging issues emerging in our public schools and communities.

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Notes From the Editors: Introduction to Special Issue—International Perspectives on School–Parent Relations

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TRICIA BROWNE-FERRIGNO

LARS G. BJÖRK

This special issue of the Journal of School Public Relations (JSPR) is our third as guest editors. As in the previous two (fall 2011 and winter 2012), the articles here present work by international scholars who have studied the dynamics of the centralization and decentralization of educational policymaking to enhance parent involvement. These international comparative studies provide insight into the deep sense of responsibility that parents have for their children’s education and the political structures ostensibly created to enhance parents’ decision-making processes and school engagement activities. Taken as a whole, these articles in this three-issue collection are highly relevant to our understanding of national educational reform movements in the United States and other countries. We are indebted to Ted Kowalski and the editorial team of the JSPR for supporting this international endeavor. They joined us and the external reviewers in ensuring that articles were subjected to multiple blind peer reviews and held to the rigorous review criteria set by JSPR.

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Notes From the Editors

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SUSAN SCHRAMM-PATE
KENNETH VOGLER

“Doctoral Education Today” is a special themed issue of the Journal of School Public Relations that addresses the concerns and debates concerning contemporary doctoral education´s sociopolitical, cultural, organizational, pedagogical, and economic contexts. Increasingly, higher education is transitioning to a client-sensitive world, and doctoral education at some institutions is at the forefront of this reform. In addition to debates surrounding traditional doctoral programs with the traditional five-chapter dissertation is the reconceptualization of the EdD. The 2011 national survey conducted by the University Council for Educational Administration’s Taskforce on Evaluating Leadership Preparation Programs of University Based Doctoral Programs in the United States describes, for example, that newly redesigned EdD programs at several influential universities (e.g., Vanderbilt University, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Denver, University of Central Florida, and University of Connecticut) have moved toward what the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) consortium refers to as a dissertation in practice. These types of dissertations are strategically focused on the promotion of the inclusion of educational practitioners in the preK–20 educational system. The CPED’s resolve is aimed at ensuring that the professional practice education doctorate has a purpose and culture that are not only distinct from a traditional research-focused degree but are also underpinned by conceptions of intellectualism and research rigor.

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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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Notes From the Guest Editor

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ART STELLAR

This issue of the Journal of School Public Relations addresses some matters that preK–12 practitioners consider particularly important. Current events are compounding the complexities of communicating for all educators, especially for principals. Lack of funds to sustain or improve education is a universal problem. Likewise, having the capacity to provide continuous high-quality professional development is another constant on the agenda. The dilemma of accountability and evaluation in the face of opposition to standardized testing confronts many educators around the country.

In “Aristotle Reclaimed,” John Zimmerman and Taylor Sharp propose that Aristotle’s rhetorical triangle is a useful tool for reviewing school communications. They go on to suggest that social media offers a viable means of recapturing the essence of the classical communication triangle. They provide examples of what is needed in today’s digital world while acknowledging the barriers.

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Do Bulgarian Schools Effectively Communicate with Their School Communities?

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Do Bulgarian Schools Effectively Communicate with Their School Communities?

MILEN FILIPOV

DIANA POPOVA

MARIA ALEXIEVA

ABSTRACT: The article maps the state of educational public relations (PR) in Bulgaria and explores how Bulgarian public educational institutions (PEIs) (kindergartens, primary schools, and secondary schools (general, language and vocational ones)) effectively communicate with their school communities. The purpose of this study is to research how Bulgarian PEIs’ administrative and teaching staff understand and practice educational PR to build their school communities. It addresses Bulgarian public educational institutions’ ability to effectively communicate with their communities their achievements, attract external funding to improve their physical environment, and to solve problems and overcome crisis.

KEYWORDS: educational public relations, school community, effective communication, educational PR

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Notes From the Editors: Introduction to Special Issue—International Perspectives on School–Parent Relations

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LARS G. BJÖRK
TRICIA BROWNE-FERRIGNO
OLOF JOHANSSON

This special issue of the Journal of School Public Relations (JSPR) is our fourth as guest editors. Like in the previous three issues (fall 2011, winter 2012, and summer 2012), the articles herein present work by international scholars who have studied how school–parent relations are influenced by centralized and decentralized education systems as well as by shifts in national educational policies. We have seen a full range of national political strategies unfold over the past several decades, including purposeful ideological manipulation, deliberate marginalization, and hopeful empowerment. With mixed emotions, we have also observed the lasting impact of these approaches on future generations of citizens, educators, and schools. Importantly, we recognize how scholarship on school–parent relations may be severely limited by protracted political and religious conflict, civil war, and ideological domination. Notwithstanding, these comparative international studies provide insight into parents’ profound sense of responsibility for their children’s education in varying sociocultural, economic, and political contexts. Taken as a whole, the articles published in this four-issue collection provide an opportunity to give voice to international scholars whose work is highly relevant to our understanding of national educational reform movements in the United States and other countries. We are indebted to Ted Kowalski and the editorial team of the JSPR for supporting this international endeavor. They joined us as guest editors of this special issue in ensuring that articles were subjected to multiple blind peer reviews and held to the rigorous review criteria set by JSPR.

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Notes From the Editor

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THEODORE J. KOWALSKI

The recent tragedy at the high school in Chardon, Ohio, reminds us that schools, like other public buildings, are not immune to violence. The first article in this issue, authored by professors Gina G. Barker and Mollie E. Yoder, analyzes communication that occurred on the campus of Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007. Their work provides insights regarding the extent to which the university's staff communicated effectively with the media, the victim's families, and the general public.

The next article is about the River Trails School District, in suburban Chicago. Written by the superintendent, Dane A. Delli, and the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, Matt Silverman, it describes the district's literacy and technology fair, an event that involved several hundred teachers, administrators, students, parents, and other community stakeholders. The authors detail how the event was planned and carried out, and they explain why the fair was beneficial to the district and community.

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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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Introduction to the Special Issue: What Role Do Principals Play in Implementing Policy?

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What Role Do Principals Play in Implementing Policy?

SUSAN M. PRINTY, GUEST EDITOR

E ducation leaders at the school level experience policy demands coming at them from every direction. They are faced with decisions about how to respond to a particular demand and how to integrate the resulting actions or initiatives with other practices already in place within the school. Taking the central position between policy mandates and the instructional staff, principals need to craft an organizational response that will replace, modify, adapt, or augment existing routines without constraining those that have proven highly productive.

For this issue, I invited a number of junior scholars to consider the question What is the principal’s role in implementing policy? The authors of the articles included in this special issue drew on their recent dissertation research to explore that question. A central focus of each policy addressed is improvement of teachers’ knowledge and skills. This concern for strengthening schools’ human capital is important for readers of the Journal of School Public Relations, and the set of studies provides a lens for how teachers experience investments in their skill sets after they are employed.

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Notes from the Editor

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Notes from the Editor

Susan C. Bon

In this issue of the Journal of School Public Relations, authors address an array of topics that impact the decisions made by public school leaders as well as higher education officials. As noted in the previous issue, the journal has expanded its scope to promote success in the increasingly competitive journal publication market and to respond to emerging issues in education that impact school public relations professionals. This wider lens includes six critical areas that are central to public school and higher education administrators: public relations, school and community relations, community education, communication, conflict management/resolution, and human resources management. Given this expanded scope, I would like to invite all prospective authors to consider the Journal of School Public Relations when submitting their next article for publication.

Two of the articles are focused on public and community relations in the higher education setting. Both articles address issues that especially impact higher education institutions, which face increasing accountability and financial demands from community members. In the first article, titled “Experiential Learning in Public Relations Through Student-Conducted Research Assignments,” Ron Prindle explains how the responsibilities of public relations practitioners are expanding to include institutional research. As such, he encourages universities to develop programs that prepare practitioners to meet these new expectations. His article then describes how to develop an undergraduate-level experiential learning course that is focused on promoting research skills for future public relations practitioners. This article is particularly useful to practitioners who would benefit from his provision of extensive details about the course, as well as from guidelines on how instructors should create, implement, and assess a similar course.

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Community-Building and One-Way Tweets

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Community-Building and One-Way Tweets

How American “Effective Schools” Use Twitter for Stakeholder Communication

Sarah Maben

Brianna  Henneke Hodges

Karley Goen

ABSTRACT: Researchers analyzed 1,948 tweets from 13 independent school districts in the U.S.-based Effective Schools Project for evidence of one-way and two-way communication with stakeholders over a 45-day period. In this mixed method study, tweets were overwhelmingly one-way in nature, consistent with existing literature; only 1.9% of tweets were categorized as two-way communication, or seeking response and soliciting feedback from stakeholders. The majority of tweets served a community-building purpose. Themes of the highlight reel, reliance on links to other sites or social networks, text-heavy messages, and centralized versus decentralized posting emerged from the school district tweets.

KEYWORDS : stakeholder communication, Twitter, social media, school ­districts, K–12 education

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Data-Informed School Leadership: Constructing an Incipient, Working Conceptual Framework

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Data-Informed School Leadership

Constructing an Incipient, Working Conceptual Framework

JINGPING SUN

BOB J. JOHNSON

ROBERT PRZYBYLSKI

ABSTRACT: Large-scale efforts to improve student achievement have increasingly encouraged principals to use student data to inform their decision-making and change initiatives at schools. However, research on the nature and best practices of such use remains very thin. This literature review synthesizes research on principals’ data-use for the last 14 years and identified 18 school leadership practices of using data to inform their decision-making, which constitutes the incipient, working conceptual data-informed school leadership. This framework provides a much-needed guide to school administrators and policy makers who want to make evidence-based decisions to improve student learning. The framework can be also used to inform principal preparation or training.

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