Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I remember when I was a high school student. Public schools did not develop or maintain marketing strategies. The schools opened their doors, and students students showed up. But all this has changed.
The New York Times is reporting that as charter schools have grown in New York City -- both in number and in popularity -- public school principals "are suddenly being forced to compete for bodies." Accordingly, "among their many challenges, some of these principals, who had never given much thought to attracting students, have been spending considerable time toiling over ways to market their schools."
According to the Times, these principals are
revamping school logos, encouraging students and teachers to wear T-shirts emblazoned with the new designs. They emphasize their after-school programs as an alternative to the extended days at many charter schools. A few have worked with professional marketing firms to create sophisticated Web sites and blogs.
Brochures, fliers and open houses have become all but required in neighborhoods like Harlem, where parents once simply sent their children to the nearby school but now can enter lotteries for two dozen charters.
Indeed, these two groups of nonprofit entities are slugging it out for dominance in the marketplace. Will our education system -- or the art of educating our young people -- be the ultimate winner?