This section provides a variety of framing tools intended to help advocates understand and apply the research findings and recommendations on how to talk about education reform.
- Digging Deeper
The following two pieces elaborate on core findings from FrameWorks’ research that relate to terms that are ubiquitous in advocates’ messaging and in the news media. Both terms, “the achievement gap” and “21st century skills,” conjure associations that are not conducive to collective thinking about our education system.
- Talking Points
The talking points are intended for use in preparation for media interviews, editorial board visits, or other public communications as a reminder of the core elements of the education frame.
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
This tool shows advocates how to navigate the swamp effectively with strategic framing. These FAQS are a series of questions about education that advocates are commonly asked to address. Examples of effective and less-effective responses to each question are included.
- Sample Op-Ed
This is an example of how to apply the framing strategies on education reform to the format of a guest editorial in a newspaper.
- Sample Letters to the Editor
Three sample templates for applying framing strategies to a Letter to the Editor format: Letter One, Letter Two, Letter three.
- You Say/They Think – Handling Competing Frames
In this tool, we analyze a series of frame clashes – which is what happens when you say one thing but the public thinks another. This tool shows advocates what is in the swamp of public understanding about education.
- Reform What? American Public Opinions on Education
This is a video presentation of the findings from 49 in-depth cognitive interviews, conducted in seven states. The purpose of this work was to identify the common assumptions that Americans have about what education is and how it works. Excerpts from real interviews are included and recommendations for improved communications strategies are provided.
Framing in the Field
- Time for a renovation
This article appeared in the Spring issue of Commonwealth Magazine. It was written by Nicholas Donohue, President and CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, who discusses the Foundation's new focus and the need to update K-12 education in order to meet today's challenges. It is an excellent example of utilizing the frame elements that came out of the FrameWorks research on education and education reform.
Key Framing Guides
- Navigating the Swamp
A graphic representation of the swamp of dominant patterns of thinking about education. This can serve as a reminder of the themes in public thinking that your communications should avoid.
- You Say…They Think
An analysis of a series frame clashes – you say one thing and the public thinks another –which shows how certain ways of framing education reform can get eaten in the swamp.
- Basic Message Template
The outline of a new frame for communicating about education reform. The talking points, FAQs, and Sample Op-Ed in this toolkit show a variety of ways to apply this basic template.