How to Talk About Education Standards – Sans Politics

how to talk about education standards

Politics in education are more polarized than ever. Everyone, from K-12 principals to university directors of admissions, has felt the divide created by national standards for education. If you’re an education marketer, you may have to write about those standards, whether you agree with the ones your school follows or not.

Props to those schools that have dared to broach the subject of standards. It’s no easy feat as teachers, professors, parents, and students continue to bombard institutions with questions. Rather than avoid the subject, it’s a school’s job to educate the public about the theory behind its teaching methods and curriculum. And as an education marketer, it’s up to you to hold your school accountable for standards communication. Learn how to talk about K-12 and higher-education standards while keeping politics out of it:

1. Focus on the facts.

Present the basics all stake-holders (parents, students, teachers, administrators, the general public) should know. What standards does your school adhere to? Why? How do they impact the education your school provides?

It’s essential that you avoid jargon when explaining your school’s education strategy. Using everyday language to explain standards in a new way can ease tensions around trigger phrases, like “Common Core,” “summative assessment,” and “College scorecard.” Use a matter-of-fact tone to convey transparency while exploring the true meaning of the standards you follow.

2. Address real needs.

According to The Washington Post reporter Nick Anderson, in June 2015 President Obama halted his university ratings plan due to the complexity of the undertaking. And we all know K-12 standards like the College and Career Readiness Standards are constantly undergoing change. While the names we use for today’s standards won’t always be relevant, the needs that spark them will be:

  • The need for accessible education
  • The need for successful teaching methods
  • The need for relevant curriculum content

Focus your school’s website content on meeting those core needs for your teachers, students, and parents, and you can solve real problems without getting caught up in the politics.

3. Begin and end with the unifying mission.

We’re all here to help students lead meaningful lives. We’re here to empower individuals with knowledge. Regardless of curriculum, national standards, ratings, and state tests, each parent, teacher, and student wants the same thing. Communicate this big-picture mission as the core of your institution, and inspire your audience to refocus and join you.

Do you have tips for how to talk about education standards and rating systems? Share your tips for your fellow K-12 and higher education marketers below.

Francesca Luppino

About Francesca Luppino

Francesca Luppino is a Content Strategist at Fathom. She joined Fathom in 2012 after graduating from Hiram College, where she studied English and communication. She develops and implements content marketing strategies primarily for the Education vertical. Francesca’s expertise covers on-site and off-site content, blogs, social media, SEO, guides and large downloads, and creative content strategy. She uses her passion for education to deliver engaging, conversion-based content for clients.

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