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Recent trends in high school marketing and education methods?
August 17, 2009 12:32 AM   Subscribe

What are the trends around the world underlying the most successful (I guess I am talking financially mostly) high schools around the world these days? What are the marketing buzzwords driving the race for students? My old high school is in trouble and I'd like to help if I can.

After a recent visit to my old high school, I discovered it was in serious financial difficulty. It had been a traditionally strong sporting school but could hold its own academically until recently. It's not clear that the substantial drop in academic results are tied to its financial difficulty. There may be other factors. In response they have decided to focus on their traditional strengths as a sporting school and have cut all academic scholarships so as to boost sporting scholarships. I found this somewhat disturbing. I would be interested to know any thoughts people had about this move, especially stories from experience about trends in the area.
posted by zaebiz to Education (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
All schools use sports to earn money, very very few earn more than their sporting expenses, but many spend "inflexible" money earning "flexible" money. It's natural that administrators prefer more flexible funding, even if they waste inflexible funding earning that flexible funding and then spend that flexible funding less wisely. You see, they can spend that flexible funding in flashy ways which might help their career more.

I've no idea why your school has declined, but there are numerous possible reasons, like : new magnet schools, crappy new principle, county level miss-management, property tax fluctuations, housing price bubble, demographic changes, etc. A private school would lose students property taxes improved the public schools. A public school would lose students if the county squandered increased property taxes. You can even imagine the "academically ambitious" middle class being priced out of the local housing market.

I don't see why anyone should feel attachment to their high school, a teacher sure, but the institution no. Your high school diploma becomes effectively worthless once you get your university diploma. Just worry about finding the best public school for which you can afford the property taxes for your kids.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:38 AM on August 17, 2009


It happens. Going back even further, my primary school was not too bad while I was there, but it has gone into serious decline in recent years as the area has aged. There is now a greater need for high schools than primary schools because the children have grown older and younger families are not moving in. Those that are are more affluent these days, and choosing private school over public.

As jeffburdges notes, the reasons can be many and difficult.

My high school remains successful, because they are private and charge ridiculous fees to study there.
posted by wingless_angel at 3:13 AM on August 17, 2009


Cutting off a potential revenue source (academic scholarships) seems odd. In fact, focusing entirely on scholarships as a fundraising strategy seems odd-- scholarship support doesn't actually help your fiscal position that much, as you're simply transferring the source of the income (from the parents to a third party) but not really adding to your bottom line at all. Using scholarships to boost enrollment would make even less sense, as it's a rare scholarship that really covers the cost of the student. Are you sure you have all the information?
posted by nax at 5:53 AM on August 17, 2009


Or, it occurs to me, am I misunderstanding your use of the term "scholarship." To an American, a scholarship is essentially a grant to a student to cover tuition. Is that what you're referring to? Or do you mean they are focusing on sport rather than on academics. This would make more sense to me for the reasons in my first response.
posted by nax at 5:56 AM on August 17, 2009


nax : Yes that's what I mean by scholarship - a grant to cover tuition.
posted by zaebiz at 7:35 AM on August 17, 2009


Could you tell us a bit more about the school? Is this some sort of religious school? Or maybe does "high school" not mean grades 9-12 like in the US? I've just never heard of a high school with sporting scholarships.
posted by d. z. wang at 9:15 AM on August 17, 2009


Your school isn't alone. Today's WSJ: Hard-Hit Schools Try Public-Relations Push.
posted by psyche7 at 12:44 PM on August 17, 2009


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