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Peabody Journal of Education, Volume 91, Issue 1, 2016

Marketing and Public Education Evidence, Emerging Trends, and Implications

Introduction

Heather K. Olson Beal, Stephen F. Austin State University
Molly S. Stewart, Indiana University
Christopher Lubienski, University of Illinois at Urbana-Chapaign

This issue of the Peabody Journal of Education considers how marketing has had an impact on education.  Sectors that once made little (or no) use of marketing like hospitals and churches have now made use of it to advance its causes, and notably, to encourage interested parties to select one institution over the other.  Education has joined these otherwise public, largely not-for-profit industries in capitalizing on the benefits of marketing. The authors in this issue explore how engaging in marketing effects k-12 schools and how they deliver education, especially in light of expanding school choice options. The issue targets several key issues that have emerged.  How does one define marketing in schools? Does marketing help or hurt the main mission of schools—the education of students?  How does marketing have an impact on school competition and parent access to information about schools?  Who should be in charge of marketing?  Is school marketing implicitly (or explicitly) recruiting certain types of students and who decides what kinds of students are worthy to recruit? Finally, do marketing efforts vary in different places or over time, and does marketing effect the resources that are available for educational efforts or boost schools’ ability to think about their community presence?

CONTENT OF THIS ISSUE
This issue contains articles on six studies as well as a commentary that discusses the issue as a whole.  The first article written by Huriya Jabbar explores the marketing of charter schools in New Orleans conducted informally and formally by school leaders.  She finds that the choice to market (and not to market) a school to certain kinds of students helps schools include and exclude certain populations.  The second piece by Terri S. Wilson and Robert L. Carlsen examines the ways Twin Cities area schools market themselves to families that they believe will “fit” within school culture, noticing how implicit messages effect who the schools attract.  Using critical discourse analysis, they detect how these messages often carry racial and cultural overtones.  Laura E. Hernandez produced the third piece of the issue, employing critical discourse analysis, like Wilson and Carlsen, to analyze the marketing materials of two major charter organizations and how their language and images promotes a creation of color blindness that may have an effect on how school leaders consider how their schools are addressing the needs of its students.

In the fourth article, authors Christopher Lubienski and Jin Lee discover how Detroit area school mission statements tend to resemble each other rather than set each other apart.  This discovery leads them to ask whether the charter schools truly provide a wealth of diverse options to meet student needs in one of the nation’s most competitive charter school markets.

The fifth and sixth articles analyze the use of marketing outside of charter schools—in a magnet school and supplemental educational services.  The fifth article by Healther K. Olson Beal and Brent D. Beal delves into how magnet school marketing in one school employs “all hands on deck”—parents, students, teachers and administrators.  The study points to how concepts from traditional brand communities and business-level strategies could provide helpful advice for policymakers, when considering marketing of school choice options.  Finally, the sixth paper by Molly S. Stewart and Annalee G. Good considers how the use of private marketing with some regulation can have a positive impact by increasing parental access of valuable choice information, providing the assumed level playing field that may help leverage school choice to perform how it has been intended.

The issue concludes with a Maia Cucchiara’s synthesis of the issue in an insightful commentary.

REFERENCES
Lubienski, C. (2006). Incentives for school diversification: Competition and promotional patterns in local education markets. Journal of School Choice, 1(2), 1–31.
Molnar, A. (1999). Cashing in on kids. Milwaukee, WI: Center for the Analysis of Commercialism in Education. Sandel, M. J. (2012). What money can’t buy: The moral limits of markets. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.


CONTENTS

Introduction
Heather K. Olson Beal, Molly S. Stewart, and Christopher Lubienski
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 91, No. 1: pages 1-3.

Selling Schools: Marketing and Recruitment Strategies in New Orleans Huriya Jabbar
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 91, No. 1: pages 4-23.

School Marketing as a Sorting Mechanism: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Charter School Websites
Terri S. Wilson & Robert L. Carlsen
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 91, No. 1: pages 24-46.

Race and Racelessness in CMO Marketing: Exploring Charter Management Organizations’ Racial Construction and its Implications
Laura E. Hernández
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 91, No. 1: pages 47-63.

Competitive Incentives and the Education Market: How Charter Schools Define Themselves in Metropolitan Detroit
Chistopher Lubienski & Jin Lee
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 91, No. 1: pages 64-80.

Assessing the Impact of School-Based Marketing Efforts: A Case Study of a Foreign Language Immersion Program in a School-Choice Environment
Heather K. Olson Beal & Brent D. Beal
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 91, No. 1: pages 81-99.

Marketing, Information, and Parental Choice: A Comparative Case Study of Third-Party, Federally Funded Out-of-School-Time Services Molly S. Stewart & Annalee G. Good
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 91, No. 1: pages 100-120.

Thinking Locally: Attending to Social Context in Studies of Marketing and Public Education
Maia Cucchiara
Peabody Journal of Education: Issues of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations, Vol. 91, No. 1: pages 121-130.


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