Jspr Vol 31-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 Guest Editor

ePub

JO NELL WOOD

Throughout history, the degree of public concern with education has varied. Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all had prescribed rituals and approaches to the curriculum they believed their children should learn to be good citizens. Formal schooling has been the hallmark of stable societies, but although it implies stability, it is responsible for maintaining continual learning and growth to enhance and support the community at large. We have seen over the past decade the advent of more and more accountability to ensure a new generation is prepared for life in the 21st century. Interest in education grows in response to negative evaluations of the readiness of youth. To prepare the next generation, schools and universities must have appropriate, relevant curriculum that transmits the culture, values, and vision of the community.

Effective schools recognize the nature of schooling’s impact on the community. They give everyone in the community the opportunity to invest in the success of the children within the educational system. Parents have an immediate interest in the quality of their children’s schools and universities and often step up to participate in various aspects of these schools. However, community members and business people, at times, do not realize that they too have a stake in the success of the school’s students. The community’s interest results from the investments that community members make through their taxes/tuition and from the need that they recognize for a well-educated generation of youth who will become successful and will contribute as members of society (Davies, 1991).

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School District Responsibilities in Addressing Parental Involvement in No Child Left Behind

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KIM S. FINCH

ABSTRACT : No Child Left Behind, Section 1118, Title I is devoted solely to parental involvement. Section 1118 requires school districts receiving Title I funds to develop and implement a written plan for parent involvement. Parental involvement is examined through teachers’ responses concerning their engagement of parents in student achievement. Results indicate that parental involvement decreases as students progress through school. District public relations departments and administrators have an obligation to develop a plan to train teachers in effectively working with parents, which will ultimately increase student achievement.

The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)—better known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), one of the nation’s most controversial landmark reform acts affecting education from kindergarten through high school—requires states, districts, and schools to involve parents in the education of their children and “to organize programs of parental involvement and to communicate with parents and the public about students’ achievement and the quality of schools” (Epstein, 2005, p. 179). NCLB is based on four principles that families, educators, and communities can utilize to improve teaching and learning; one of these principles includes expanded parental choice. In fact, “parents are mentioned over 300 times in various parts of the NCLB Act” (NCLB Action Briefs, 2004, p. 1), specifically in Section 1118, Title I, which is devoted to parental involvement. Owing to the nature and importance of parental involvement as a predictor for student achievement, school districts must make a concerted effort to reach out to parents and partner with them in the education of their children.

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Engaging Stakeholders in Curriculum Development

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JO NELL WOOD

ABSTRACT : This article investigates the importance of parent and community engagement in curriculum development, along with curriculum leadership, engaging stakeholders, and the importance of curriculum. Parent and community member engagement is examined in light of curriculum committee participation as reported by Missouri superintendents. Survey responses indicated that 72% to 75% of superintendents do not engage either parents or community members in the evaluation or review of curriculum development or approval of written curriculum or resources.

In today’s world, we see beautiful cruise ships waiting to set sail in ocean-side docks. These ships are built to the best specifications available. They are well equipped with the best of furnishings, stately cabins, safety equipment, good food supplies, and great chefs, servers, and crew, along with a highly trained captain. They are designed to make long voyages and have the necessary supplies to traverse the oceans. Each person hired to work on the cruise ship is the best at what he or she does. Each is adept at performing one’s job. The captain has the best of instruments and data to help him or her guide the ship, and he or she uses one’s training and experience while planning the voyage. These ships represent the best of their kind. However, if they have information for only the next stop and not the final destination to program into the computer and to give to the captain, they cannot adequately reach their destinations. Without the specific destination and coordinates, the ship will remain in port or sail out only to circle, hoping to find its way to the final destination (Bradley, 1985).

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Distance Learning for Community Education

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REV. ANTHONY A. COOK

ABSTRACT : This article takes a look at the influence of technology on curriculum and teaching. It specifically examines the new wave of available technology and the opportunity for schools to make inroads into community outreach by engaging new, technological learning methods. The relationship among community education, public school relations, and distance learning is explored. Furthermore, the article discusses the potential relationship of community education and distance learning technologies; it explores learning objects and podcasts as examples of potential benefits of a distance learning approach; and it examines how public schools might implement change.

The 21st century is witnessing the largest period of substantial change ever experienced by humanity. Our very way of living in the world is being changed, more rapidly than can be comprehended, by forces that at times seem beyond control. The new information age that we have entered challenges all educators, the existence of schooling itself, and our way of thinking about the nature of learning. Curriculum leaders need a new paradigm in order to understand and contribute to these changes. (Wiles & Bondi, 2011, p. 281)

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Informing Parents of Today’s College Curriculum: The Yellow Brick Road to Graduation

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KAREN A. MYERS

ABSTRACT : Higher education curriculum is as varied as the institutions themselves. Familiarizing parents with college curriculum may assist them in their college students’ selection and academic success. This article provides school administrators, teachers, counselors, public relations personnel, and college professors with examples of learning modes and types of curriculum, both inside and outside the college classroom, and offers suggestions for presenting this vital information to parents.

As key players in their students’ academic success, parents should be informed on how to navigate the college landscape. School counselors, public relations (PR) personnel, teachers, administrators, and college professors in educational leadership preparation programs all are key components for assisting parents in understanding the college issues that their children will face. College student success and entrance into employment may affect a school district’s accreditation; therefore, assisting counselors in providing parent seminars centered on changes in college curriculum and providing PR officers with college curriculum information for their districts’ websites could enhance the accreditation component.

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