One of ACSA’s ongoing goals is to help school leaders tell their stories with confidence. Surveys show principals are second only to teachers as trusted education opinion leaders. By sheer numbers – there are more than 8,000 principals and thousands more vice principals in California’s public schools – principals have substantial influence in changing and improving public opinion about leadership.
Most of ACSA’s major professional learning opportunities include training in communication. These trainings offer school leaders tips for working with the media as well as tools for developing communications plans. They provide information about developing a speakers’ bureau; enlisting key communicators; hosting community forums; using newsletters, Web sites, blogs and e-mails; implementing Connect-Ed; establishing a “School Leader for a Day” program and more.
Additionally, staff provides talking points and related training for the ACSA Board of Directors and the Delegate Assembly on all major statewide issues and ACSA position papers. In addition to being reviewed at Delegate Assembly, issue-oriented talking points are disseminated to all ACSA members and the broader public through print and electronic media. Talking points issued during 2007-08 include educational excellence, homework, career technical education, the state budget and the need to protect Proposition 98.