Education Research Trends and Tips to Tell Your Story

Do you wonder what your community is thinking about education? You don’t have to wonder – Strategies 360 has the answers.

Through our work with school districts and education organizations, we’re a trusted source to help our clients learn the opinions of their target audiences and strategies for reaching them. Below are trends we’re seeing and tips to tell your story. Please reach out to with questions on how to develop your school communications and research strategy.

Research Trends


Early childhood education and K-12 education

  • Washington residents strongly support early childhood learning, favoring services and tuition-free preschool programs.
  • Satisfaction with Washington’s local school districts is higher than with satisfaction with public education at the national level. Although, increasing political partisanship and pandemic-related challenges led to declines in satisfaction with schools’ quality.

Higher education and workforce development

  • While higher education is valued, alternative paths like vocational training are gaining favor.
  • Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses are increasingly attractive, focusing on hands-on learning and industry partnerships to connect students with in-demand jobs and life skills.

Curriculum concerns

  • Identity-based complaints and curriculum concerns are overblown and generally voiced by a loud minority.
  • Residents value equity and supporting students who struggle more academically or because of systemic barriers as long as this effort is NOT at “the expense” of children overall.

Tax sensitivity

  • Tax sensitivity is one of the greatest impediments to acquiring new funding for schools.

Specifics are powerful

  • Over-explaining details are important: providing justification, laying out concrete benefits, and/or communicating fiscal impact in difference of average individuals’  taxes.

Communication Tips to Tell Your Story


Be Specific

  • Research tells us that people want more details. They want to see what the return on their tax investment is/would be.
  • Sharing specific information in bite-sized pieces gets more traction and is easier to grasp.
  • Example: “LHS has 70+ exterior doors, making it difficult to secure the school, if needed.”

Connect Student Skills

  • There is broad support for CTE classes. When making the connection between a program and the skills – say what the skills are and how students can use them for future success.
  • Just saying this class prepares students for the future doesn’t work for most audiences.
  • Example: “Every student who takes the Intro to Baking class develops skills to present their work publicly, work under a deadline, and work safely with their peers.”

Share Updates Regularly

  • Close the loop after you asked for input/action/investment.
  • Share updates about levy/bond – funded programs and projects with a regular frequency.
  • Example: “Washington High School got a new roof last month [pic]. Thanks to the support of our community, this new school is #DistrictNameBondFunded”

Use Digital Marketing

  • Digital ads are a cost-effective way to advertise and outreach about important action items, sharing good news, recruiting, and more.
  • You can target broad, general audiences, parents in a specific school neighborhood, people in an education profession, and more.
  • Analytics help you understand your audience, where they get information, and track your investment and the performance of a campaign.
  • Example: The top Google response to a search query “kindergarten near me” can lead directly to your district’s enrollment page.

Please reach out to with questions on how to develop your school communications and research strategy.