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Wanted: School Innovators - Must Have Guts and a Plan!

Posted by Scott Barron on Mar 4, 2014 1:08:31 PM
Scott Barron

"I've been doing this for 30 years, and I can't recall a time in my career when there were more changes happening at the same time. It's a busy time, and it's hard work," said David A. Cox, the superintendent of the Allegany County school district in Cumberland, Md.

"There has been a diversification of public education, particularly in cities, with the rise of educational management and charter organizations and the like," said Michael D. Casserly, the executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools. "Regular districts feel enormous pressure to improve—maybe more pressure than any institution, public or private, in the nation."

In Detroit, where the regular school district's enrollment of 50,000 is less than one-third of where it was 15 years ago and where more than two-fifths of students attend charter schools, "we've literally created marketing plans for each school," said Steven Wasko, the district's assistant superintendent for community relations.

Innovative School LeadersThe quotes above are from an article that appeared this week in Education Week, "School Systems Shake Up Organizational Model." Entrepreneurial Administration is coming to a school near you because the expectations and the competition is heating up! School innovators will respond by expanding their capacity to guide their organizations through the change to rapid improvement and growth.


More Changes Happening at the Same Time!

We all know that change in the education world is happening but the scope and magnitude is truly unprecedented. But why? Three reasons:

  • Education is expensive. Worldwide public spending DAILY on education is over $9B (Billion), which is approximately 5% of the global gross domestic product. (
  • Education innovation over the last few decades has not kept pace with such improvements in every other sector of the economy.
  • Education is the key differentiator for every societal group (individuals, families, communities, states, regions, nations) in an information economy that is globally connected.

Enormous Pressure to Improve

Accountability will continue to be a point of emphasis from government, accreditation, and community agencies because of the vital contribution of schools to the opportunities for growth both locally and nationally. Education is no longer a convenient path--it's absolutely a critical path! But the real pressure is coming from the competition of decentralized education options that are now available because of multiple ways to access good teaching and curriculum. And it gets even more complicated in 2014 because a signficant number of entrepreneurial teachers will launch their own "school" as an education business with growing demand.

But where do school administrators learn the language and habits of innovative leadership?? In the span of a school year, many companies will have completed multiple cycles of improvement. How many schools can say that?

Marketing Plans for Each School

Marketing will become a core competency of growing schools and districts. It isn't today! Contemporary marketing methods incorporate branding strategies using multiple media methods to cultivate conversational relationships with the target market(s). Today's school must develop its brand as a central connection point in its community, increasing engagement through relevent content and active relationship building.

What are you doing to expand your capacity to innovate?

Topics: Marketing

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