Communicating the Common Core State Standards: A Resource for Superintendents, School Board Members, and Public Relations Executives

This publication says that “superintendents and school boards in particular, with support from public relations executives in their districts, have a critical role to play in educating families, staff, and the public about these changes.” This resource guide attempts to help urban school districts devise and execute comprehensive communication plans to strengthen public awareness about and support for the Common Core State Standards, as well as new assessments. The major sections include: messages, messengers, and strategies. The publication includes a number of resources including superintendent and principal letters home to parents, an educator’s postcard, FAQs, and a list of resources.

Content Comments 

The content in this publication is excellent. The authors clearly identify and meet the publication goals nicely focusing on three main topics, messages, messengers, and strategies. I do have a major quibble about their recommendation to use the NAEP Trial Urban Assessment as an example of what district scores may look like on forthcoming consortia assessments; however, in general the content is solid, albeit promoting the CCSS, but then that is its purpose. The document design, using a very effective and short "At a Glance" section, combined with bullets or short paragraphs in easy-to-understand language, is commendable. Utility should be very high, especially given the lack of other resources that focus specifically on this topic. While a bit challenging to evaluate the evidence of effectiveness, the overall resource, combined with some solid examples included as Exhibits, earn a high mark.