The Launch of Eduflack

I know, I know, yet another blog on education policy in the United States. But don’t expect to see in-depth discussion and debate on the impact of high-stakes testing on the student psyche or how charter schools are destroying the framework of our urban school systems. No, this isn’t that sort of chronicle. Why take on issues that are already so deftly discussed by true leaders in the field?

Instead, eduflack was created to discuss education reform through a different lense — communication. Well before A Nation at Risk hit our school systems, true reformers have been using communications and public engagement strategies to promote their ideas, win supporters and advocates, mute the opposition, and ultimately change public behaviors so that meaningful reform can take hold in our schools, our communities, and out nation.

The coming year will play host to continued discussions on NCLB and its reauthorization, the positioning of presidential candidates and their policy platforms, and the impact of recent philanthropic investments in high school improvement and similar reforms. All important issues, and all requiring communications planning, implementation, and measurement to ensure they make a difference and leave a lasting mark.

For education policy reforms to succeed, they need to be understood and embraced both at the ivory towers and on Main Street, USA. Eduflack will seek to sort through the white noise, and track the successes and failures of communicating reform.

Improving our public education system requires the participation of all key stakeholders — students and parents, teachers and administrators, policymakers and business leaders. We need to move all corners of learning to act if we are to improve.

Too often, education PR is about cults of personality and attacking the messengers, rather than the message. That’s where eduflack is different. Demonstrate true communication skills, you’ll get the bouquets. Pander to the lowest common demoninator or simply contribute to the grousing chatter, you’re getting the brickbats.

Let the pageant begin …

(Originally posted March 5, 2007)

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