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The Roles and Responsibilities of School Boards and Superintendents - A State Policy Framework PDF - According to recent surveys, local leaders feel particularly hampered by (1) confusion over the appropriate roles of school boards, (2) superintendents and district politics and bureaucracies, and (3) increasing state and federal regulation of public schools. This report, which is based on several recent national and state-level studies, is intended to be a starting point for discussion among state and local leaders as they examine the roles of school boards and superintendents in an era of mounting demand for increased student achievement. (Todd Ziebarth, Education Commission of the States, September 2002)...

The New Challenge for School Boards MS Word - No center of power is better positioned to provide leadership for education reform and improvement than school boards and nowhere is effective leadership and good governance more crucial than in the nation's urban districts, according to the author. This column, published in the February 2002 issue of ECS Governance Notes, explores the new challenges facing school boards and outlines a strategy for successfully dealing with these challenges. (Donald McAdams, Education Commission of the States, 2002)...

Effective School Governance: A Look at Today’s Practice and Tomorrow’s Promise MS Word - This report examines the role of the school board in raising academic performance. It looks at the basic and unique functions of local school boards in American education, as well as their effectiveness in meeting the needs of a changing society. It identifies the National School Board Association’s fundamentals of good board operations, and suggests how the state can strengthen the capacity of local school boards to govern and lead for effective results. (Michael Resnick and Hal Seamon, Education Commission of the States, January 1999)...

Governing America's Schools: Changing the Rules PDF - The time is right for state and local policymakers and educators to rethink and redesign how we govern our schools. This report, which The Wall Street Journal commended for "sweeping away decades of cobwebs surrounding previous reform proposals" and setting "a high standard for future debate on the subject," outlines two potential approaches for governing the nation's schools. Both of the proposed approaches seek to build on the strengths of the prevailing governance system while infusing it with a greater capacity for adaptability, flexibility and accountability. An Executive Summary of this publication is available. (National Commission on Governing America's Schools, Education Commission of the States, November 1999)...

Local School Boards Under Review: Their Role and Effectiveness in Relation to Students' Academic Achievement - This report provides a review of literature published in the past two decades on the role and effectiveness of school boards. It covers a number of areas related to school boards, including: a brief history of school boards; the current state of school boards; current and future reforms of school boards; and the key characteristics of effective school boards. (Deborah Land, Johns Hopkins University, January 2002)...

School Boards: Focus on School Performance, Not Money and Patronage - According to this report, while school board members' mode of selection is important, what really matters is the school board's basic powers and mission. This report shows how school board roles can be redefined so that they can focus on school performance. Options include limiting school board powers and subjecting school boards to perfromance contingency. (Paul T. Hill, Progressive Policy Institute, January 2003)...

School Boards at the Dawn of the 21st Century: Conditions and Challenges of District Government - This survey finds that funding and student achievement are the top priorities for most school board members. The survey of school board members in 2,000 school districts found that only one in nine respondents call school violence a "major concern." (Frederick M. Hess, National School Boards Association, 2002)...

Improving Public School Governance in Texas: A Policy Goal Statement of the Texas Business and Education Coalition - There is considerable concern in Texas and the nation about the governance function in public education, according to this policy statement from the Texas Business and Education Coalition. School boards in Texas can help improve public school governance in a number of ways, such as by working to establish positive relationships with superintendents, providing leadership for improved student and school performance through setting clear districtwide goals and holding the system accountable for results. (Texas Business and Education Coalition, 2000)...

Recommendations to the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee - The South Carolina Education Oversight Committee commissioned a study team, composed of business leaders, school board members and educators, to examine local leadership quality and engagement in South Carolina. The study team concluded that the state’s governance structure is not supporting an optimally performing education system. Recommendations included updating state laws to accurately reflect the powers and duties of school boards, to require that school board members be elected and to provide school boards with fiscal autonomy. (Study Team on Local Leadership Quality and Engagement, 2000)...

School Boards and Student Achievement - School boards in high-achieving districts are significantly different in their knowledge and beliefs from school boards in low-achieving districts, according to this report by the Iowa Association of School Boards. Based on 160 interviews in three high-achieving and three low-achieving districts in Georgia, the researchers conclude that school boards in high-achieving districts were consistently optimistic about the ability of students to learn, had more knowledge about teaching and learning issues, used data to make decisions, created a supportive workplace for staff and involved their communities. (Iowa Association of School Boards, 2000)...

Effective School Boards: Strategies for Improving Board Performance - This book provides clear-cut guidance for school board members who wish to improve their effectiveness. It addresses two fundamental questions: What does an effective board look like? How can a board, with the support of its superintendent and community, become more effective? In answering these questions, it offers a range of helpful strategies for improving board performance, including a presentation of a model for success – the Model for School Board Effectiveness – that is based on real-life experience. This document is not available on the Web, but can be ordered for $30.00 by calling 800-956-7739. (Eugene Smoley, Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1999) ...


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