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Anthony Barton

on 10 July 2013

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Are local school boards obsolete?
Pamela Hamilton & Anthony Barton

What do you think?
1. School Boards Advocate for the Community
They engage community members
They have a vested interest in our school
More Pros
6. School boards are deliberate
Weary of fads

Give parents a place to speak out
They listen to public opinion
What do you think?

2. Hire the Superintendent
Evaluates and sets the salary and
contract for the superintendent

Help decide on policies and processes for learning
Help shift resources

3. Accountable to the community
Board members can be voted out
Answer to parents and community members about decisions
4. Community Watchdog
Make sure you get the best for your tax dollars
They have direct oversight over funding and resources

5. Good record of getting public support
They get support for bonds and tax increases for new schools and resources
7. First line of defense for public
They have the good of the community
at heart

8. Privately run schools offer
no accountability
In NYC the Mayor appoints members to a council and appoints the Chancellor
They only answer to him and serve at his will.
9. School boards offer a system of checks
and balances

They have a rules and polices in place so decision making is transparent
Meetings are open to the public and major decisions must be voted on.
10. Budget decisions are transparent

The budget and the way funds are allocated are all open to the public
1. Local school boards encourage social promotions and polarization

Hurts expectations
Students may finish not prepared or may not have the necessary skills to be successful
2. Policies made by school boards don't align among school districts

Rigor/Expectations may be different when students move between districts
Different districts have different interpretations about how students learn
3. Board members are made to feel that they have no say in curriculum decisions

Most members are not qualified to make instructional decisions
Members usually leave decisions to senior-level administrators
4. Boards want to micro-manage hiring decisions
More qualified applicants may be overlooked to fulfill favors
Often do not get rid of non-performers
5. School boards focus on running schools, not improving student learning

Schools should be contracted with private industries to run schools
Contracts should be given to performing schools based on test scores only
6. Board members use this position as a political stepping stone
Usually run for a higher office
May focus on self-promotion, rather than student needs
7. Without board members, district
offices would be leaner

More money would make it to individual schools
Teachers would have more autonomy to make decisions
8. Principals would spend less time lobbying

They would already have more resources
Principals would not feel pressure from board members
9. Without boards, parents would be seen as customers

They would be courted by administrators
Teachers would spend more time helping parents understand what they needed to do to help students with assignments.
10. Without school boards, a public management system could be implemented

Clear rules and measures would be put in place
Type this link into your browser, double click on the wall and post your thoughts!
Why school boards? five reasons for local control of public education. (2013, July 3). Retrieved from http://www.nsba.org/Board-Leadership/Governance/WhySchoolBoards

Noll, J. (2009). Taking sides: Clashing views on educational issues. (17 ed., pp. 156-167). New York City: McGraw-Hill.

Nugent, D. (1964). Are local control and lay boards obsolete?. 85-87.

Whiston, A. (1998). Are local school boards obsolete?. Childhood Education, (Spring), 172.
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