Thursday, October 18, 2012

How to talk to parents in Dallas: Use "power words"

How did I let Ravitch beat me to this one?

It seems that Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles wants the district to undergo a makeover — including how it communicates with the public.The first thing he asked his communications chief Jennifer Sprague to do was, distribute flyers to all his principals and A.P.s advising them on how to best communicate with parents and community members.

The multipage brochure recommends “power words”, “acknowledgement phrases” and “headlines” principals should use when parents have questions.
If a parent asks about the new administration, a principal might reply, “District leaders are student-focused in their decision making.”

Or: “The superintendent’s plan brings stability and a clear direction to the district.”

Or perhaps: “Destination 2020 will take five to eight years to achieve, but we will make significant progress in one year.”

Or even: “We are all about improving student performance and the quality of instruction; that is the expectation.”
I'm sending Dallas parents an accompanying flyer which contains my own suggested power responses to Supt. Miles reformspeak. For example:

If a principal or district bureaucrat responds to any of your questions with these phony "acknowledgement phrases," respond calmly with the following power phrase:
"O.K. Mr. (Ms.) so-and-so. Cut the crap and tell me what's really going on or I'll be back here with 200 of my closest friends."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.