311 Slices
Medium 9781475823950

Notes From the Editor

Journal of School Public Relations Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

THEODORE J. KOWALSKI

Public schools have a dual mission: to benefit society and to benefit individual students. During the last half of the previous century, however, the social assignment waned, in large part because the percentage of stakeholders severing ties with schools incrementally increased. Today, many citizens consider students to be the sole beneficiaries, and in light of lingering dissatisfaction with low-performing schools, they are reluctant to support these institutions politically and economically. Recognizing this disposition and its debilitating effects, astute administrators focus on revitalizing the role of public schools as an indispensable community resource.

The Journal of School Public Relations is rooted in the conviction that highly effective institutions engage in democratic discourse and distributive leadership. Thus, the publication provides research articles, depictions of best practices, and book reviews on a range of topics related to external and internal institutional public relations.

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Medium 9781475824162

Redefining Tradition in Education: Invoking an Ethic of Community

Journal of School Public Relations Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

LISA BASS

We have the chance to reimagine our schools as places where communities come together.

—Steny Hoyer

ABSTRACT : In this article I discuss the demographic shifts that have occurred in the United States, which have disrupted the traditional school environment. I contend that the changes have been so drastic that students who were once called traditional are now seldom seen in the school environment; whereas students once viewed nontraditional are becoming the norm. The implication is that school reform efforts should reflect the new traditional students seen in schools. The community school model is suggested as a comprehensive school reform measure. I conclude by discussing the importance of having school leaders who are equipped to lead community schools if they are to be effective at increasing student achievement.

Tradition is a universal concept that spans all cultures and exists within most contexts. Tradition refers to practices that are regularly done or are accepted as being common and preferred (Inglehart & Baker, 2000; Merriamwebster, 2010). Practices that qualify as being traditional are usually those that have been observed over a period of time. Although no two cultures share all traditions in common, every culture has traditions that are highly referenced and held in great esteem. For this reason, traditional practices are sacred and believed to be right without question. Tradition is the comfort zone.

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Medium 9781475823776

African American Parental Involvement in a Post-Brown Era: Facilitating the Academic Achievement of African American Students

Journal of School Public Relations Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

LINDA C. TILLMAN

ABSTRACT: The Brown v. Board of Education decision defined public education for African Americans in the United States. In this article I discuss the tradition of African American parental involvement in the pre-Brown era, challenges to parental involvement in a post-Brown era, and a parental involvement initiative in an urban elementary school. I conclude with a discussion of the continued imperative for African American parental involvement and some implications for leadership.

The 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision has in many ways defined public education for African Americans in the United States. An important aspect of the Brown decision is the role of African American parents and the African American community in the education of its children. It is significant that this discussion appears in the Journal of School Public Relations, since this landmark decision not only affected African American students and their parents, the judicial system, and education policymakers, but the African American community as well. The positive and negative consequences of the Brown decision have had long-term effects on the African American community’s participation in the education of its children.

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Medium 9781475824216

Trust an Essential Ingredient in Collaborative Decision Making

Journal of School Public Relations Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

ROXANNE M. MITCHELL
JOAN RIPLEY
CURT ADAMS
DHEERAJ RAJU

ABSTRACT: The following study explored the relationship between trust and collaboration in one Northeastern suburban district. In sum, 122 teachers responded to a trust and a collaboration survey. We hypothesized that the level of trust would be correlated with the level of collaboration. Bivariate and canonical correlations were used to analyze the findings. This study confirmed that trust in the principal was correlated with collaboration with the principal and that trust in colleagues was correlated with collaboration with colleagues. However, trust in clients (students and parents) was not correlated with collaboration with parents. The set of trust variables together explained 71% of the variance in the collaboration variables, with trust in clients being the most significant variable in predicting teacher–teacher collaboration. Collaboration with colleagues was the most potent of the collaboration variables. These findings suggest the importance of establishing a culture of trust in fostering collaboration between teachers. More research is needed to understand the complexities involved with parent collaboration.

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Medium 9781475823714

Community Education: A Status Report and Projections for the Future

Journal of School Public Relations Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

LARRY E. DECKER

ABSTRACT: The good news is that comprehensive and proactive educational initiatives like community education and full-service schools are making a difference in establishing meaningful home, school, and community partnerships. The schools that have comprehensive outreach efforts to meet diverse needs almost always have high levels of community support.

The bad news is that there are far too few of these initiatives and the large number of households in any community who do not have children often have little or no contact with public schools. They do not understand the challenges faced by schools and are not motivated to support public education. Without an understanding of these challenges, many people interpret the media attention and the political agenda for educational accountability and high-stakes testing as further evidence supporting a lack of confidence in public schools.

Many Americans worry about what they see as a growing gulf between the American public and its public schools. Troubling trends seem to indicate a fraying relationship among families, schools, and communities (Decker & Decker, 2003):

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