The Resource of Public Opinion

Public opinion outside of the bounds of a superintendent's staff members is seen as an important source of accountability and support for the task of continuous improvement. Effective superintendents see these opinions represented in and through their Board of Trustees, their local businesses and government structures (e.g. city council, local state representatives, etc.), as well as their students' families. They view such opinions as sources of information that have the potential to contribute to decision-making processes. On the one hand, public opinion brings accountability for high quality programs. Yet, on the other hand, when the positive relationships described above are in place, this external accountability can be leveraged to gain necessary support for change and can serve to rally necessary resources that may be needed.

Adept superintendents harness positive public opinion in order to leverage multiple kinds of support related to anything from financial needs (e.g., grants, donations, and passage of bonds and levies) to academic concerns (e.g., attendance and dropout rates, school curriculum design, and input on perceived effectiveness). When seen in the positive light of good relationships, well equipped superintendents are able to capitalize on the strength of public opinion and leverage it as a tool for improvement.

Connections & Resources
IA01 The district includes municipal and civic leaders in district and school improvement planning and maintains regular communication with them. PDF Icon CLICK HERE Link
IA02 The district includes community organizations in district and school improvement planning and maintains regular communication with them. PDF Icon CLICK HERE Link
IA03 The district includes parent organizations in district and school improvement planning and maintains regular communication with them. PDF Icon CLICK HERE Link
IA08 The school board and superintendent present a unified vision for school improvement. PDF Icon CLICK HERE Link

The resources below are provided for further exploration of this topic. They are among many tools and readings that Idaho School Superintendents have either used or cited in their work.

The Center for Educational Effectiveness

The Center for Educational Effectiveness

The Center for Educational Effectiveness (CEE) provides incredibly powerful survey tools and data analytics to help each level of a school district better understand perceptions that exist among leaders, staff, students, and parents. CEE has been a partner with the Idaho Building Capacity Project for a number of years now. District and school leaders report that the surveys and reports inform crucial decision-making processes related to organizational trust and collective efficacy. The data collected are explicitly linked backed to the framework for improvement used in Idaho: The Nine Characteristics of High Performing Schools. If you are looking for a way to balance academic assessment data with valid and reliable perceptual data, consider the tools available through CEE as a possibility.

IBCEE (no image available)

Idaho Business Coalition for Education Excellence

The Idaho Business Coalition for Education Excellence (IBCEE) is an organization in Idaho that is interested in large scale academic improvement. Strategic, results-oriented superintendents often partner with business and civic leaders around common goals. If you are interested in finding ways to partner with local business, consider some of the resources and programs available through IBCEE. Learn more at http://www.ibcee.org/default.aspx.