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Recipes for innovation in public engagement

I was trying to find new ways to articulate some of the daunting challenges in our field. I was trying to make abstract concepts more real to the average reader. OK, I admit it – I was just hungry.

I hope that my Recipes for Innovation in Public Engagement can help satisfy your own appetite!

Over the last decade, we’ve learned a lot about what works – and what doesn’t – in public engagement. Now, with new pressures on schools, many educators are thinking hard about how to combine those lessons with new innovations. They are trying to develop more productive, dynamic, and long-term relationships among educators, parents, students and other community members.

The core goals for doing public engagement haven’t changed much. Smart educators know that:

  • Parents are critical to the academic success of their students;
  • The support of parents and other citizens is essential for maintaining or raising school funding; and
  • Broad public buy-in is the key to making difficult decisions around issues like school closures or redistricting.

Read more on the NSPRA website.

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Matt Leighninger
Matt Leighninger is Executive Director of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium and a Senior Associate of Everyday Democracy (formerly the Study Circles Resource Center). He is the author of the 2006 book "The Next Form of Democracy: How Expert Rule Is Giving Way to Shared Governance -- and Why Politics Will Never Be the Same."

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