Sunday, November 30, 2014

3 Takaways Common Core & Associations

National Urban League PSA on Common Core

Target marketing. One-to-one marketing. Demographic marketing.

Communications and marketing designed to recruit members, generation donations or register attendees recognize the individual differences in the population we reach.

Yet, the concepts of the Common Core education system assume all children are equal.

Coming from a family of teachers, I may be more aware of education issues ... including the ongoing debate about “common core,” a topic impacting many associations.

The National Urban League has been airing a TV public service announcement (PSA) over the past few weeks made me think about this.

Rather than helping common core advocates, the PSA may actually illustrate the fallacies of the common core concept.

As the screen capture above shows, the PSA features young students all lining up at the starting line (similar to a track meet) ... and all finishing together with the implied assumption that common core allows everyone to finish equally.

The basic flaw the PSA illustrates about Common Core is that nowhere in the U.S. do young students enter the classroom at a common starting point. The visual of students on a single starting line highlights this false premise.

The PSA reminded me of some statistics that Kyle Zimmer, president and co-founder of First Book, shared at a Cause Marketing Forum event. Kyle shared that there are 27+ books per child in the average middle class home but only one book for every 300 children in low-income neighborhoods.

Here are some literacy statistics:
From First Book:
  • Learning to read is critical to a child’s success – both in school and in life. Literacy is one of the best predictors of a child’s future success. But a child without access to books won’t have the chance to become an engaged and capable reader. 
  • This is the reality for children who are growing up in poverty; books are scarce. In some of the lowest-income neighborhoods in the country there is only one book available for every 300 children. 
From a University Research Study:
  • Whether rich or poor, residents of the United States or China, illiterate or college graduates, parents who have books in the home increase the level of education their children will attain, according to a 20-year study led by Mariah Evans, University of Nevada, Reno associate professor of sociology and resource economics. 
  • For years, educators have thought the strongest predictor of attaining high levels of education was having parents who were highly educated. But, strikingly, this massive study showed that the difference between being raised in a bookless home compared to being raised in a home with a 500-book library has as great an effect on the level of education a child will attain as having parents who are barely literate (3 years of education) compared to having parents who have a university education (15 or 16 years of education). Both factors, having a 500-book library or having university-educated parents, propel a child 3.2 years further in education, on average.

A couple of takeaways:

  1. Understand the power of images and the possibility they might not support your position. 
  2. Continue to recognize the power of target marketing for your association or nonprofit.
  3. Find ways to support efforts (such as First Book) to get books to children.

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