School-to-community written communications: A content analysis


The objective of this study was to analyze the quality and content of written messages sent from selected schools and district offices to residents of their respective communities. These school-to-community messages are critical because they help shape community perspectives about what schools are doing and how well they are doing it. Over a 6-month period, 594 communities from nine schools and three central offices were collected and items analyzed through the use of a rating instrument similar to that used in marketing research. The analysis concludes that the communication items tend to be quite functional, in the sense that their purposes are clear and the amount of information transmitted is sufficient to ensure understanding. However, the items were rated as typically dull, devoid of interesting style and creative language, written almost exclusively in English, and as far as the newsletters were concerned, targeted toward a generic, upwardly mobile, White, middle-class parent. The study concludes with a series of ideas about how school-to-community written communication can be improved. © 1992, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.


Reading, Foundations, and Technology

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Urban Education