Flackin’ for School Districts

The world has clearly changed for school districts.  While we are hearing more about test scores and teacher contracts these days, we are just as likely to hear about social media, editorial board meetings, and a superintendent’s “message.”

While some may see this as a troubling sign for what is to come in our schools, I would argue it is actually a strong signal of the increased importance of K-12 education in our social landscape and our community priorities.  LEAs, particularly those in urban areas, now need communications professionals (if they do their jobs properly) to ensure that information and data is properly shared, community stakeholders are effectively engaged, and transparency and sunshine rule the day.
Diane Orson, over at WNPR in New Haven, CT, has a terrific piece on the topic (and not just terrific because it includes dear ol’ Eduflack.)  In her “The Changing Role of School Spokesman,” Orson tells the story of why school district communications is important, and what we should expect from the role. 
As I note in the piece:

“And I think as we look at how we talk about what’s happening in the schools, it really has to be a data driven discussion. We’re no longer just writing about spring break and how local sports teams are doing. This is now a very deep dive discussion into performance measures and data. And that requires a sophistication we’ve haven’t seen in education communications in the past.”

Some of you may have already heard it on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered.  But if not, it the piece is well worth the listen.

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