The principles of “coherent governance” guide the Board of Education in its decision-making and relationship to the district administration. Do you believe coherent governance is a good model? Why or why not?
Two Examples of How Effective Board Governance Contributed to Increased Student Achievement Does a school board really make any difference to improved student achievement? Do the arduous campaigning, the hours of study, the countless meetings, and the rigors of debate in pursuit of wise decisions by a school board actually have any effect on student […]
Throughout the land, superintendents lament their boards’ tendency to “micromanage.”
Although some board members might agree, many argue that they are merely doing their jobs, primarily overseeing the operation of the district to be sure things are working the way they should. And in truth, they are doing the work of the board, as they have defined it.
So this is the challenge: simply redefine the role of the board.
Since 1983 and the release of “A Nation at Risk,” public education has suffered scrutiny, criticism and outright derision unprecedented in American history. Those of us who chose to work in the field of education, either occupationally or by election, were maligned and accused of everything short of criminal activity. The school board has not escaped that fate.
Superintendents shudder to think about them. School boards dread them. Many avoid them, which is worse than dreading them. Nobody looks forward to them.
And it’s no wonder. Most superintendent evaluation “processes” (we use the term loosely) have little or nothing to do with job performance, and usually all to do with whether board members like the superintendent’s style, appearance, or other subjective or amorphous criteria.
Some school boards seem to govern well. Results show in the form of high student achievement, good interpersonal relations, an organization that operates effectively and efficiently, and strong public confidence and support.
But for every board that works well, there seem to be scores of others that simply can’t get their acts together.