How to Get Kids Reading

Successful communications requires an integrated approach.  There’s research, messaging, media relations, community relations, etc., etc., etc.  There is no magic bullet, one-easy-step solution when it comes to communicating education reform.  You need multiple approaches, firing at multiple times, hitting multiple audiences with multiple messages.  When executed properly, that reform engine can really hum.

No where is that more true than in improving reading skills in our schools.  We know what to do.  We’ve done the research.  We’ve assessed effectiveness.  And we’ve seen it work in states, districts, schools, and classrooms across the nation.  Yes, scientifically based reading research, or SBRR, works.  No ifs, ands, or buts.

Eduflack is often asked if it is even possible to take meaningful, proven research and put it to use in the real world.  Heck, this week’s Education Week has an opinion column on the general failings of moving education research into practice.  The battle to get SBRR into our schools shows it is not only possible, it can be successful.  We know it works.  We know how to successfully move it into practice.  And we know how to communicate what to do, how to do it, and what to expect if you do it right to those audiences who need it the most.

Don’t believe me?  Check out the book “Why Kids Can’t Read: Challenging the Status Quo in Education” and its companion website,  Full disclosure, Eduflack is a contributing author to the book.  But even if you don’t want to read my chapter on successfully working with the media, it is still chock full of personal stories and real-life experiences on diagnosing the problem, finding the right allies and advocates, and effectively communicating for change until the system is improved.

Reform is hard.  Finding a blueprint that helps build understanding for the key levers for education reform and school improvement makes it just a little easier.

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