Strategic Communications for Portfolio School District Reform

July 2010

Smart, effective communications initiatives are an essential part of portfolio school district reform.

Authored by communications consultant Sam Sperry and produced by CRPE’s Portfolio School Districts Project, “Strategic Communications for Portfolio School District Reform” is part of a series of papers designed to assist leaders of these reform efforts.

The paper “identifies key aspects of effective, strategic communications policies and practices for officials undertaking school reform by adopting the portfolio district model.” Sperry discusses both strategies and tactics, offering the dos and don’ts of best practices. Much of the content is drawn from extensive interviews with communications officials in three districts: New York City, Denver and New Orleans.

While focused on portfolio school districts, which oversee a diverse mix of schools and face complex and controversial reform issues that require more than just basic communication strategies, the ideas in this paper could be useful for any district trying to build and sustain support for its reform efforts.