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“Please Sir, I Want Some More”

From our readers:

“(SNN provides) First-hand accounts of how districts & staff are serving students and how student experiences are helping them grow and mature as individuals.”

“(SNN) Gives an update on things happening in schools around the area that might not be covered in other media.”

“Good news about schools and students.”

When asked what they liked about School News Network, readers all but repeated the legendary plea of Oliver Twist:  “Please Sir, I Want Some More.”  

Certainly, we’re not comparing local media barons to those who ran the 19th Century workhouses in Charles Dickens’ legendary novel, but it was clear those responding to our reader survey appreciated our efforts to provide more information about our students and our schools.

“Only School News does the local (reporting) really well,” said one reader, reflecting the 58 percent who applauded our focus on the stories of students and their achievements.  That’s true – there are hundreds of stories in School News Network about the work of staff and students that are not available anywhere else.  Stories like the remarkable tale of Rwandan refugee Moses Kabandana, who survived the genocide, made his way to the United States with his sister through the help of Bethany Christian Services, and graduated from Lowell in the spring.  He will enter Calvin College in the fall.

Kabandana, one of our Graduates with Grit, reflects our desire to go behind the data to tell the real story of what’s happening in our schools.  Our students and staff are more than data points reflecting the percentage of graduates, dropouts and proficiency ratings.  They’re living and breathing human beings, some with more problems than many of our readers could imagine, and others with more determination and perseverance than most could conjure in their desire to succeed despite all odds.    

Another reader said “The stories are informative and well-written,” which is a good indication of why 75 percent of readers said they would recommend School News Network to others.

To all of those who responded to our reader survey in May, thank you.  To all of those who would refer School News Network to others, please do.  To all of those who asked for more, just wait.

Your input on School News Network and on topical issues of the day will become a regular feature.  Market research partner Jeff Gartner, Gartner Associates, will work with us to provide you a regular opportunity for input on the pressing issues of the day – and we’d welcome your ideas for a regular reader survey.

We’ll ask for your input on, say, starting school later in the day for secondary school students, and we’ll give you an opportunity to pose additional questions that we may run in the future, like reader input on extended school day programming, or year-round school.  If you’d like, we could give respondents the opportunity to identify themselves as parents/community members or school staff, so we could get an idea of what each group thinks about an issue. 

Our reader survey will be an annual feature, as we really want to know what you think, what you value, and what would make School News Network your first choice for educationnews.

In response to your feedback this year, we’ve added new reporters and we’re working to make it easier for individual districts to feature their stories for the residents of their community.  We think that’s important, but we also think it important for readers to see what’s happening in all of the districts we serve.  Eventually, we hope to publish student work – artwork, student news programming, links to performances and events. 

You asked for it – Please Sir, I Want Some More – and we’re working hard to fulfill your request.  Thanks again.

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Ron Koehler
Ron Koehler
Ron Koehler is the Kent ISD Superintendent and offers his commentary on issues in education.


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