Telling Our Story

Telling Our Story

Every private school is unique, each possessing a distinctive history, culture, and character. Indeed, it is the rich diversity of philosophical and religious orientations, the multiplicity of theories regarding human development and learning, the varying approaches to structure, and the inexhaustible variability of school cultures that make private education so exciting, and infuse the term ‘school choice’ with such depth of meaning.

The most successful schools, whether private or public, do more than find opportunities to tell their stories. They never miss an opportunity to do so. Whether the communication emanates from administrators, faculty, parents, board members, students, clerical staff, or alumni, all participants and stakeholders speak with one voice when describing the school’s essential characteristics. And when such messaging is consistently and uniformly repeated, its content is absorbed and, ultimately, adopted by the public.

As a lobbyist charged with the responsibility of representing the common interests of California’s broadly inclusive nonprofit private school community, I can’t possibly tell every school’s story when visiting the offices of state lawmakers (though I strongly encourage school-site leaders to do so!). Instead, I try to paint a picture of the collective contributions made by private schools, and to tell the private school story writ large.

In case you’re wondering how that story reads, you can find it on a single, two-sided page titled, “Private Education and the Public Interest,” which can be viewed and downloaded. When I visit the offices of newly-elected members of the California Legislature, this January, this is one of the documents our freshmen State Assemblymembers and State Senators will be receiving. I encourage you to read and distribute it, as appropriate. For it, too, tells your school’s story. And it’s a story of which you have every reason to be proud.


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