In Somewhat Odd Pairing, Ad Council & Army Team-Up For Attendance Campaign Targeting Parents

The Advertising Council and The United States Army are teaming-up for a nationwide advertising campaign directed towards parents to reduce student absenteeism.

You can read all about it in The New York Times article, A View of What’s Missing From the Classroom.

I, like some of the people quoted in the article, am a bit skeptical, and am particularly concerned that it’s a way for people to feel like they’re doing something of substance about a problem but, in reality, doing little — if nothing at all (sort of like calling Talk Radio).

Here’s an excerpt:

Andrew White, director of the Center for New York City Affairs, predicted the ads would “reach the general public and make them think twice about the really straightforward reasons their kids don’t go to school.” He said, however, that his “big concern was that not enough resources are put into the harder-to-reach problems, deeper issues, like the intersection of poverty and education.”

Similarly, Claire E. Smrekar, an associate professor of education and public policy at Peabody College at Vanderbilt University, called the campaign “a very limited approach to a very complex issue.”

She said the impact of the texting initiative could be affected by some parents’ ability to afford regular cellphone service, and suggested the campaign would be more effective over all if it focused “school by school on teachers, mentors, strong relationship-building.”

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