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Competition benefits consumers.

If you don’t believe me think about the most annoying monopoly in America.

Cable companies.

Every town has one.We Shouldn't Be Afraid to Share Positive Aspects of Our Schools.

And that’s the problem.  Most towns only have one.

They don’t have any direct competition.

So, if you need their help… good luck (I speak the truth because I speak from experience… and it wasn’t good).

You won’t get an appointment, you’ll get a window.

As in “We will have someone at your house between 1:00 and 4:00 pm.”

What other business does that?

Who makes you miss work so they can show up when it’s convenient to them?  Worse yet, who makes us miss work and then doesn’t show up during the agreed upon time frame?

Only cable companies.

It’s a very “Take it or leave it” attitude (and if you like TV… you take it).

Businesses with competition can’t do this.

If you look in the phone book (yes, I’m dating myself) and there’s more than one business listed in a section, that’s competition.

Dentists.  Plumbers.  Contractors.  Beauticians.  Chiropractors.  Restaurants.  Gas stations.

They all have competition, so they work for you.

To be successful they have to keep prices down and provide quality service.

If they don’t, their customers will go elsewhere.

You know a business has competition when they advertise.

In phone books (or since it’s 2010… online).  On billboards.  In newspapers (or since it’s 2010… maybe not).  Even on radio and TV (but hopefully, not cable).

But you know who doesn’t advertise.

Public K-12 schools.


Pre-schools advertise.  Colleges advertise.  Graduate schools advertise.

But public schools don’t.

Is it because there’s no competition?  We’ve never been asked to compete for customers (students)?

Just like cable companies, we are often the only option in town.

Maybe we shouldn’t take this for granted.

Maybe we should be trying to entice families into our school districts.

Maybe we should be advertising our test scores, quality staffs, and educational opportunities.

Maybe students should be allowed to shop for schools regardless of where they reside.

Maybe monopolies aren’t good for anybody.  Even schools.

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9 Responses to “Eduvertisment.”

  1. Melanie
    on Aug 1st, 2010
    @ 5:07 pm

    In my area, public schools must advertise because they are competing against Charter, Magnet, and Private schools. And currently losing.

  2. Katie
    on Aug 2nd, 2010
    @ 6:49 am

    A marketing plan forces you to compare yourself to your competition, identify your unique sales proposition (USP) and clearly outline your benefits. If administrators and teachers have clearly identified their school’s strengths/promotional points, they will be more likely to promote these in their interactions with the community and in their lesson plans respectively. This will lead to students and parents getting a clear and consistent message from both parties about why the school is great. The students and parents then become walking, talking advertisements for the school.
    The only caveat is that the USP has to be real. I was at a school that had an “Expect Respect” campaign. It totally backfired because students didn’t feel like this was true of their teachers or administrators.

    Michael Smith Reply:

    @Katie, Great comment.

  3. Jenny
    on Aug 2nd, 2010
    @ 7:05 am

    In my hometown, it’s the same way. Schools are having to advertise- I’ve seen billboards, heard radio ads, and seen brochures sent out advertising the various schools in town, even amongst public schools.

  4. Dawn
    on Aug 2nd, 2010
    @ 5:48 pm

    Public Schools here are slowly realizing they have competition (which they have actually had for about 12 years….but some systems are slow learners). They still think the idea of marketing their product or having to compete is scoff-able. I often wonder how long it’ll take them to realize they will go the way of the dinosaur if they don’t get with the times.

  5. Tammy
    on Aug 2nd, 2010
    @ 8:55 pm

    This is why charter schools are good. Charter school enrollment is up because they actually teach students and are providing much needed competition to public schools.

  6. Tim
    on Aug 3rd, 2010
    @ 10:03 pm

    Boy oh boy…. I’ve now erased my comment three times… Competition is good, but who can really compete when public schools do a job nobody else wants to do, educate EVERYONE who walks through your door…

  7. Myron
    on Aug 29th, 2010
    @ 5:12 am

    I love your web page! Great cartoon! Great blog!

  8. Tiffany S.
    on Aug 30th, 2010
    @ 3:59 pm

    Wonderful blog! It’s great to see school administrators blogging.

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While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.