Putting a Face on Data

By Douglas B. Reeves

Over the past decade, the public’s image of education has largely been shaped by the publication of test scores. Academic achievement certainly is an important element of the public’s perceptions of any school system; however, test scores -- particularly as they have been reported in the past decade -- tell only a fraction of the district’s story.

Now, with nearly every school system in the nation strapped for resources, and with public confidence in many governmental institutions sagging, it is essential that the public and the media hear the real story of public education in your schools. As board members, you can play a critical role by being ambassadors for your districts and for public education.

Think of it this way: When a district maintains an excellent reputation, it attracts families to the area, stabilizing property values. Moreover, school districts where board members are strong public supporters of education can attract the best staff and senior leaders who are more likely to work with a harmonious board than with a contentious one.

Here are five practical ways to serve as effective ambassadors for your schools.

Subscribers please click here to continue reading. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to purchase this article or to obtain a subscription to ASBJ.