ERIC Number: ED289257
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986
Reference Count: N/A
Facing a Hostile, Organized Opposition.
A school board member describes how the use of four elements helped the board win public support for a referendum that was strongly opposed by an organized, respected committee: (1) Use of the media; rather than inviting press coverage of arguments by holding large public meetings, the board held numerous small, informative meetings. In this manner, a "school board versus the public" atmosphere was avoided. (2) Timing: mailers requesting public support were sent immediately before the election so that the opposition's arguments could be countered in the sense of having the last word. (3) Lack of reaction: the board and the pro-referendum committee maintained their determination not to be reactionary, since answering all questions and criticisms causes a loss of credibility and creates a defensive posture. (4) Board unity: the board remained cohesive in its decisions throughout the campaign, and this unity prevented the opposition from gaining an inside view or publicly manipulating a lack of full member support among board members. In addition to the successful use of these four elements, the board followed up on its stated intentions. This approach dampened hostilities and reduced conflict. (CJH)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Administrators; Policymakers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Joint Meeting of the Illinois Association of School Boards, Illinois Association of School Administrators, and Illinois Association of School Business Officials (Chicago, IL, November 21-24, 1986).