The US government legislation has led to the formulation of laws that impact educational institutions, especially in the area of academic performance. Government legislation acts mainly define how educational institutions functions and guides their operations. The legislation creates a standard of quality for learning and safety as well as expectations and accountability. The most common government legislation defines what is expected of public learning institutions in terms of the academic performance of their students. Therefore, legislation like No Child Left Behind put pressure on learning institutions to improve students’ performance.
How Government Legislation Act Affects Educational Institutions
Government legislation acts affect educational institutions in that each institution will have to adapt to adhere to legal requirements. These acts are established to create learning and safety requirements, as well as obligations and responsibilities (Hansen et al., 2018). Without legislation, educational institutions would be unable to provide the structure and functions required to meet students’ educational needs. For example, the No Child Left Behind Act focuses on narrowing achievement gaps among students by providing all children with a fair, equal, and meaningful opportunity to receive a high-quality education (Heise, 2017). In this act, educational institutions are rated based on performance, with sanctions imposed against schools not performing well. Learning institutions that fail to achieve the set performance standard on administered tests are often placed on probation.
Government legislation acts have both positive and negative impacts on educational institutions. The legislation has contributed to measurable improvements in student performance in learning institutions (Hansen et al., 2018). The National Assessment of Educational Progress information shows significant gains for students in fourth and eighth-grade math, especially for low-income, minority and students at the lowest performance levels (Hansen et al., 2018). On the other hand, the institutions that fail to meet the set standard have been placed on probation and marked for improvement. During this period, the schools are likely to experience a reduction in new enrollment and retention of students. In some adverse events, the media may publicize the outcome of the test and tainted the image of the school.
How to Handle Negative Publicity
Description of the Event
The National Assessment of Educational Progress officials were at our school to determine the performance of the school based on the set standards. The officials cross-checked the results of the students obtained from a test against the standards. They determined that the school failed to meet a certain level of the administered test. According to the No Child Behind Act, school administrators are held accountable for their failures (Wong et al., 2018). For this reason, the officials came to the school to determine the problem resulting in the failure and proclaim the consequences. The officials deduced that the school would be placed on probation and teachers’ as well as administrators’’ jobs were at stake (Feng et al., 2018). The teachers and administrators were warned that the school stands closure if underperformance continues.
The Steps to Tackle the Negative Publicity
Following the visit of officials of the National Assessment of Education Progress, the media announced that the school is under academic probation. The announcement by the media would damage the image of the school to the public and negative impacts such as reduced enrolment and retention of existing students would follow (Feng et al., 2018). In this situation, the first step would be to act proactively by controlling the situation rather than just responding to sound to counter the publicity. I would engage a PR professional to assist in developing a message that can effectively control the situation (Wolf & Archer, 2018). A PR professional would assist in ideating, writing, pitching and placing the message to resonate well with the public.
The next step would be to respond to the public about the publicity by admitting the mistake and providing a way forward for the school. Since the publicity is because the school did something wrong, it would be wise to admit the mistake, apologize and offer a strategy of fixing the problem (Woo et al., 2020). In this case, the problem is that the school failed to meet the set standard in educational performance and is now under academic probation. Denial of such publicity would worsen the situation because people would begin to question the motive while ignoring it would not make it go away. Therefore, after owning the mistake, there would be less to talk about, and the public gets the chance to move on. The public would understand why the school was placed under academic probation.
Government legislation has an impact on the functionality of educational institutions. Different legislations have majored in guiding schools on the expected standards of students’ performance. The introduction of legislation like No Child Left Behind has been beneficial to some institutions, especially when they achieve the set performance standards. On the other hand, some legislation negatively affects schools that fail to attain the set standards and end up under academic probation. The impact has always been reduced admission and low retention especially when the information gets to the public. To handle this, the first step is to engage PR professionals to help define a message that would resonate well with the public. The next step would be to respond to the negative publicity by letting the public understand the cause of the problem.
Feng, L., Figlio, D., & Sass, T. (2018). School accountability and teacher mobility. Journal of Urban Economics, 103, 1-17.
Hansen, M., Levesque, E., Valant, J., & Quintero, D. (2018). The 2018 Brown Center report on American education: How well are American students learning. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution.
Heise, M. (2017). From No Child Left Behind to every student succeeds: Back to a future for education federalism. Columbia Law Review.117, 1859.
Rose, D. (2018). Citizens by degree: Higher education policy and the changing gender dynamics of American citizenship. Oxford University Press.
Wolf, K., & Archer, C. (2018). Public relations at the crossroads: The need to reclaim core public relations competencies in digital communication. Journal of Communication Management.
Wong, V. C., Coady Wing, D. M., & Krishnamachari, A. (2018). The impact of intensifying state accountability pressures on student achievement under No Child Left Behind. Policy Works Working Paper No. 63.
Woo, H., Jung, S., & Jin, B. E. (2020). How far can brands go to defend themselves? The extent of negative publicity impact proactive consumer behaviors and brand equity. Business Ethics: A European Review, 29(1), 193-211.