7/30/2013 – Selling Public Education

July 30, 2013

THIS WEEK: Rural Voters Want Pre-K … Stress From Early Years Lasts … School Supplies To Cost More … Testing Costs Money And Time … For-Profit Colleges Giving Big


Messages About Public Education That Don’t Sell Well (And Ones That Will)

By Jeff Bryant

“I want to call out five messages about public education we should stop using because they don’t sell well … #1: Education Is Mostly A Private Pursuit … #2: America’s System Of Public Education Is Broken … #3: Money Doesn’t Matter … #4: Schools Should Be Run Like A Business … #5: Higher Standards Will Solve Inequality.”

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Rural Voters Support Preschool As Strategy To Help Local Economy

Education Week

“85% of rural voters surveyed in the Great Plains, Midwest, and Southeast said they strongly supported or somewhat supported preschool programs as a way to boost the rural and small-town economy … ‘being able to send your children or future children to college’ … was a bigger concern than ‘being able to afford a college education/more training’ for themselves … nearly 9 in 10 believed the rural and small-town way of life was worth fighting for.”

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Status and Stress

The New York Times

“The stress of poverty early in life can have consequences that last into adulthood. Even those who later ascend economically may show persistent effects of early-life hardship … People are not absolutely condemned by their upbringing. But the effects of early-life stress also seem to linger, unfavorably molding our nervous systems … Socioeconomic status correlates with the ability to pay attention and ignore distractions. Others have observed differences in the function of the prefrontal cortex, a region associated with planning and self-control, in poorer children … A nurturing bond with a caregiver in a stimulating environment appears essential for proper brain development and healthy maturation of the stress response … Such bonds, and the broader social networks that support them, are precisely what poverty disrupts.”

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$1,200 For School Supplies? Price Rate Jumps Triple Inflation

Cincinnati Enquirer

“Huntington National Bank’s annual Backpack Index shows school supply prices jumped an average of 7.3% this year … Compared side-by-side with the same school supplies last year, parents would spend: $577 for elementary school students, a 5.3 percent increase from 2012 … $763 for middle school students, a 5.3 percent increase from 2012 … $1,223 for high school students, up 9.5 percent from 2012 … Nearly 9 in 10 teachers use their own money to pay for classroom supplies for students. Half said their school doesn’t provide them with the classroom supplies they need. Teachers spent an average of $347 of their own money in the 2012-13 school year to buy school supplies and instructional materials for their class … up from $314 in 2009-10.”

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AFT Analysis: K-12 Testing Is Pervasive, Costly

Education Week

In an analysis of a new study conducted by the American Federation of Teachers, Stephen Sawchuck writes, “Tests and test preparation cost hundreds of dollars and weeks of instructional time in America’s classrooms – the equivalent of an entire class period a day in one test-heavy district … The analysis, based on … two districts’ testing programs … found: The tests themselves took up about three days of time, annually, in the Midwest district and two full weeks annually in the Eastern district Annual preparation for tests, narrowly defined as taking practice tests or drilling in test-taking strategies, took up an additional 16 days in the Midwest, and a month in the second district. Depending on grade level, tests cost, including both test administration and lost instructional time, was as high as $600 per student in the Midwest district and as high as $1,100 per student in the Eastern district.”

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For-Profit Colleges Giving Big To Helpful House Members

USA Today

“House Education Committee Chairman Rep. John Kline, who saw a dramatic upsurge in campaign contributions from for-profit colleges in recent months, is pushing legislation that would help the industry preserve its access to federal student loans … Federal student aid has been lucrative for the industry. More than $30 billion in taxpayer funds flow to the schools each year, according to the Senate education panel’s report. About 60% of for-profit colleges receive more than 70% of their revenue from U.S. government programs … Kline raised $138,350 from April 1 through June 30 from the political action committees, employees and lobbyists of for-profit schools for his reelection campaign and his leadership PAC. That’s nearly one-quarter of his total receipts … Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., who heads a subcommittee on higher education and workforce training, … received $34,450 from for-profit colleges and career schools during the second fundraising quarter of the year.”

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One thought on “7/30/2013 – Selling Public Education”

  1. Great speech. Every teacher should read & PR people need to get on board to help defend our public schools. I am both – teacher and PR professional. I can do something about this and am taking action. Thanks Jeff Bryant

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