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Eadie, D. CEO-specific leadership targets. The School Administrator, 61 4 , Eight keys to an extraordinary board-superintendent partnership. High impact governing. American School Board Journal, 1 , Making a good board better. The School Administrator, 63, The partnership tango. American School Board Journal, , Education Writers Association.

Effective superintendents, effective boards: Finding the right fit. Farkas, S. Rolling up their sleeves: Superintendents and principals talk about what's needed to fix public schools. Fuller, H. An impossible job? A view from the urban superintendent's chair. Fusarelli, L. Future research directions and policy implications for superintendent- school board relations. Fusarelli Eds. The politics of leadership: Superintendents and school boards in changing times pp.

Glass, T. The study of the American school superintendency A look at the superintendent of education in the new millennium. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield. Goodman, R. Griffin, A.

Five inspiring superintendents we met this year

Keys to a successful marriage. American School Board Journal, 7 , Hall, T. Harrison, P. Can this marriage be saved?

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American School Board Journal, 6 , Henderson, E. Team leadership for student achievement. Henry, J. Hess, F. School boards at the dawn of the 21st century: Conditions and challenges of district governance. Houston, P. From custodian to conductor. The School Administrator. Retrieved from http:www. The board savvy superintendent. Hutton, T. Jones, K. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 17 23 , Kowalski, T. The school superintendency: Theory, practices and cases. Krysiak, B. Good school districts require good school boards. School Business Affairs, 68 10 , Leithwood, K.

How leadership influences student learning. Michels, P. Working for superman: Texas schools turn to hero superintendents. Texas Observer. Mountford, M. Historical and current tensions among board-superintendent teams: Symptoms or cause? Alsbury Ed. Rowman and Littlefield. Motives of power of school board members: Implications of the school board-superintendent relationships. Educational Administration Quarterly, 40 5 , Conceptions of power held by educational leaders: The impact on collaborative decision-making processes.

Journal of School Leadership, 15, — National School Boards Association. School board selection. Nelson, M. An exploration of school board-superintendent relationships in Minnesota. Petersen, G. Journal of Educational Administration, 40 2 , — Systemic leadership amidst turbulence: Superintendent-school board relations under pressure. Peterson, G. The board president and superintendent: An examination of influence through the eyes of the decision makers. Portis, C. The superintendent as change leader. The School Administrator, 64 3 , Reeves, D.

Reide, P. Board ethics: In states and communities, the ongoing struggle to codify appropriate behavior of school board members. The School Administrator, 61 8 , Resnick, M. School boards and the power of the public. Goodlad, R. McDaniel, Eds. Education and the making of a democratic people. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers. Retrieved from Error! Hyperlink reference not valid..

Richardson, P. The power of good superintendent-school board relationships. Journal of School Public Relations, 26 4 , Shibles, M. A new political balance between superintendent and board: Clarifying purpose and generating knowledge. Bjork Eds. Soares, L. Images of the superintendent. Stronge, J. Superintendent evaluation system: Research synthesis of Virginia superintendent evaluation competencies and standards. Hyperlink reference not valid. Summers, M. Changing the dynamics of a board from hell. The School Administrator, 57, Thomas, J.

The public school superintendency in the twenty-first century: The quest to define effective leadership. Vail, K. Teamwork at the top. American School Board Journal, 11 , Wagner, P. Simpson, Ethical decision making in school administration: Leadership as moral architecture. Elizabeth F. Meyers Michael D. Richardson Elizabeth F. Abstract A school board is made up of elected or appointed leaders whose mission is to set the vision, goals, and direction of the school system and insure the goals are implemented. The paramount obligation of all board members is to act in the best interests of the school district.

School boards are charged with ensuring that broader state and federal education requirements are met while translating local values and priorities into policies to meet the goals and aspirations of parents, tax payers, and local businesses. Sometimes the best intentions of school board members get overtaken by the possibility of change and mismanagement ensues. Management implies judicious use of all available resources for the attainment of defined goals; consequently mismanagement implies the unwise manipulation of resources that may not be in the best interest of the school district.

School Governance: History of Local Control Traditionally, American school governance has been deeply rooted in local control Sell, In , Massachusetts passed the first compulsory education law Jeynes, , established the first school board, and the first state board Sell, After the American Revolution, education became the venue for promoting a democratic society. The impact of cultural, social, and economic changes, such as the emancipation of slaves, the Industrial Revolution, the rise of scientific management, desegregation, and the Civil Rights Movement impacted educational ideology, but not necessarily the organization of education Rury, The powers of local school boards are determined by state legislatures, and their purpose is to implement and monitor state educational policies and procedures at the local level Land, Though the legitimacy of local school boards is determined by state legislatures, the members who serve on these boards are locally elected Sell, Thus local school board members are not only trustees of education but also politicians.

Land posits that micromanagement occurs when there is a lack of trust. Reimer pointed to "numerous controlling and restrictive policies" as reflective of a lack of trust in the professional capabilities within organizations p. Alsbury suggests that elected school boards are not necessarily a reflection of a democracy. He argues that low voter turnout, few opponents, and recruitment by current board members or district staff will likely result in members elected who represent a limited segment of the population.

School Governance Reform The largest number of proposed changes to school governance has occurred within the last thirty years Land, ; McDonald, Site-based management has been praised for its ability to involve stakeholders in decision making, but has been criticized for the significant amount of time, energy, and resources it consumes Webber, ; Land, ; Conley, State or mayoral takeovers are current reform proposals.

John, Public backlash has grown against state or mayoral control of public education. In one of the largest experiments with mayoral control in American schools, Mayor Michael Bloomberg experienced growing community backlash during his third term due to what Fullan and Boyle describe as a "lack of balance in push pull dynamics" p. As the public becomes disenfranchised, it becomes less supportive of the existing educational organization Land, ; Wilkens, Research on school board reforms such as term limits and appointed boards is extremely limited.

Term limits, however, are unlikely to significantly impact either school board governance or student achievement. The Council of the Great City Schools conducted a nationwide survey of its districts in and found that 8. The average tenure fell between five and eight years p. Similarly, the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education indicated that school board members served an average of two to six years.

With regard to school board formation, Hoover found that changing from an elected board to an appointed one had no impact on student achievement. More research is needed in the area of school governance Marino, Cooper, Cibulka, and Fusarelli suggest that educational politics is an interaction of structure, behavior, and beliefs and that these interactions are vital, critical, and unpredictable Mizzell, Conclusions School board members have a fiduciary relationship which simply requires board members to act honestly, fairly, in good faith, and with integrity, and act in the best interests of the school district.

But micromanagement by the school board can hinder an organization's ability in achieving its vision. Educational organizations with its many stakeholders and multiple levels of decision-making often experience an increased potential for micromanagement. Developing clear roles for school board members, providing procedures for the reporting of micromanaging, encouraging collaboration among district boards, assisting board members by providing requested training, developing methods for evaluating board performance, and providing feedback may prove more effective in developing the types of interactions and relationships found to be effective in supporting student achievement.

References Alsbury, T. Does school board turnover matter? Revisiting critical variables in the Dissatisfaction Theory of American ideology. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 7 4 , Arsen, D. Seeking accountability through state-appointed emergency district management.

Educational Policy, 27 2 , Bryant, A. School boards: Why American education needs them. Phi Delta Kappan, 91 6 , Cambre, B. Chambers, H. My way or the highway: The micromanagement survival guide. Conley, D. Who governs our schools? Connecticut Association of Boards of Education. Be a school board member. Wethersfield, CT: Author.

Handbook of education politics and policy. New York, NY: Routledge. Council of Great City Schools. Urban school board survey. Washington, D. Ehrensal, P. Understanding school board politics: Balancing public voice and professional power. Cooper, J. Farrell, C. One size does not fit all: Understanding the variation in charter management scale-up. Journal of Educational Change, 15 1 , Fullan, M. Green, R. A reform for troubled times: Takeovers of urban schools. Weighing the case for school boards. Hirsh, S. A school board guide to leading successful schools. Hoover, G.

Elected versus appointed school district officials.

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Public Finance Review, 35 5 , Jeynes, W. American educational history: School, society, and the common good. Kiel, D. The endangered school district: The promise and challenge of redistributing control of public education. BU Pub. LJ, 22, Kouzes, J. The leadership challenge. Land, D. Review of Educational Research, 72 2 , Lipman, P. Journal of Education Policy, 28 5 , Lonsbury, J. Understanding the limits and possibilities of school reform. Educational Policy, 26 5 , Maeroff, G. School boards in America: Flawed, but still significant. Malen, B. Beyond pluralistic patterns of power: Research on the micropolitics of schools.

Marino, J. A study of school boards and their implementation of continuous improvement practices. Mauk, D. American civilization: An introduction. McAdams, D. Getting your board out of micromanagement. The School Administrator, 65 Retrieved from www. John Fisher College. Miron, L. John, E.

Deals in Books Thriving as a Superintendent: How to Recognize and Survive an Unanticipated

Reinterpreting urban school reform: Have urban schools failed, or has the reform movement failed urban schools? Mitchell, D. New foundations for knowledge in educational administration, policy, and politics: Science and sensation. Mizzell, H. School boards should focus on learning for all. Moutford, M. Motivations for school board membership: Implications for superintendents and district accountability Paper presented at the annual meeting of University Council for Educational Administration in Minneapolis, MN.

Opfer, V. Sorting out a sense of place: School and school board relationships in the midst of school-based decision making. Peabody Journal of Education, 76 2 , Parkerson, J. Transitions in American education: A social history of teaching. Raywid, M. Rethinking school governance. Elmore Ed. Reimer, L. Leadership and school boards: Guarding the trust.

Rury, J.


Education and social change. Mahwah, N. J: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Sell, S. Running an effective school district: School boards in the 21st century. The Journal of Education, 3 , Shuttleworth, D. School management in transition: Schooling on the edge. Webber, C. Educational change in Alberta, Canada: An analysis of recent events. Educational Policy Analysis Archives, 3 How to lose your charter. Journal of School Choice, 7 2 , School board members: How does a system continue to achieve when leadership is at odds?

Pamela S. Introduction For over years, school board members have been in charge of providing governance to local school districts Prezas, Leaders such as Benjamin Franklin advocated that it was important for the local municipality to have control over the way their children were being taught, and thus saw the need for local school boards Davies, The members of early school boards were lay persons from the community who provided facilities for educating the students and a teacher for instruction Cistone, ; Mountford, Board members realized that they alone could not run the day to day operations of the school system; thus the position of clerk or superintendent of schools was created Mizzell, The role of the superintendent was and still is that of an administrator or chief executive officer who is in charge of leading the school system Malen, ; Houston, Thus, the role of the superintendent was created by board members to carry on the daily operations of the school system Kowalski, ; Kowalski et al, Leadership at odds?

Thriving as a Superintendent

Today the roles of superintendent and board members are not as cordial as they once were McAdams, According to Ray Hudullah personal communication, October 1, , former school board chair in Georgia, Reform is not as easy as changing a district calendar for the number of days to attend school or redistricting a school district; it takes the cooperation of both the superintendent working together with the board members to achieve such a task. But what happens when the superintendent and school board members do not agree on issues? Glass and Franceschini stated that 71 percent of superintendants who were surveyed perceived that their job as superintendent was in crisis.

Further, he reported that an average number of new superintendents was around Simpson noted that many superintendents perceive the job is more than just being an administrator to the school system; it is more a political effort to work with the board members while doing what is best for the children. Feinberg reported that superintendents leave for a variety of reasons: retirement, health and family issues, non-renewal of contract, and to pursue other ventures.

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  • But a main reason superintendents leave is due to board members meddling in the day-to-day operations of the school system Grissom, ; Prezas, According to the Georgia School Boards Association , the average length of time a school superintendent stays under contract with one system is three years and the average contract is for three years. Feuerstein found that 35 percent of the superintendents said that they would be more aggressive in developing more reform if they had a longer contract.

    According to Glass , the relationship between superintendents and board members is critical in developing a positive and effective working and learning environment. Superintendent vs. School Board The job description of a school superintendent is just as demanding as that of any chief executive officer Furman, ; Pont, According to the Georgia School Boards Association , the superintendent acts as the ex-officio secretary and treasurer of the board.

    As secretary, the superintendent must keep minutes during executive sessions and other meetings of the board McAdams, As treasurer, the superintendent is responsible for the receipt and disbursement of school funds Lipman, The superintendent must fulfill and accomplish all rules, regulations and instructions of the school board, which includes the implementation of school board policies Bjork, The superintendent is also charged with making employment and assignment recommendations for all school personnel to the school board Duvall, Peterson and Williams reported that a main reason for superintendents to leave their job is political pressure from a board member to act in a way that is not best for all children.

    Richardson also reports that superintendents are tired of being a scapegoat for issues that are beyond their scope of position. The superintendent is also in charge of setting the agenda for the board meetings Wickerham, Conflict between board members and superintendents comes when a board member wants to add information to the agenda while the meeting is in progress Ament, A functioning board will follow the agenda and abide by the policies and procedures that are already set Reeves, Eadie also perceives that it is important to keep politics and personal agendas out of the meetings and always support the superintendent even if it is not a popular decision.

    School board members also face a number of reasons they do not stay longer than one term in office Feuerstein, ; Hess ; Prezas, According to the Georgia School Boards Association , board members are on a rotating cycle for elections and it is possible for a board to have a new member every two years. Wickerham stated that special interest groups are another cause of school board turn off. Keedy and Bjork found that of the 2, school board presidents from across the United States, 30 percent stated that they would not run for another term on the school board.

    Communication Former Georgia school superintendent Dr. Jack Parish personal communication, October 4, describes working with school board members: as the most challenging task a school superintendent can perform is trying to decide how much information to give the members. Some members want just a little, while others want it all. Keeping board members abreast of current issues and trends is an issue, but it is important that all members receive the same information at the same time in order to limit favoritism on the board.

    Maeroff, also suggests that board members should also learn from networking with other members who attend workshops and conferences. Reimer proposes that communication is an ongoing process and one that changes every time a new board member is elected or a superintendent is replaced. Board members must communicate with the superintendent in order to have a functional system that is dedicated to student achievement Bagley, According to Jay Wansley personal communication, September 30, , Associative Director of AdvancEd in Georgia, board members can cause a system to lose accreditation by micromanaging the school system and by acting as the superintendent instead of a board member.

    One county in Georgia lost accreditation in , one of three counties in the nation to lose accreditation since Wickerham, The Georgia governor removed four board members for violating their oath of office and for ethics misconduct. Superintendents and board members should work together in communicating their vision for the system Johnson, Dysfunctional boards do not have clear goals and beliefs and board members often disagree with other board members in public Kirst, Shared vision Hirsh and Foster , state that the school board and the superintendent should have a shared vision on how the system is to advance.

    Biffault also stated that board members need to be reminded that they represent the entire district, not just an area. Brewer, Killen and Welsh reported on the importance of developing a climate that is positive and proactive for sharing the vision of board members and superintendent. Understanding roles and responsibilities It is understandable that school board members do not understand their roles as members of the local school board Fowler, Board members act as judicial, executive, and legislative officers in their county. The board acts as a judicial member when they act on student disciplinary hearings, teacher terminations, and personnel transfers Davies, These roles are typically reserved for legal counsel; knowing legal issues are not something common to a lay person Usdan, The board acts as an executive member when they approve policies that have been reviewed by the stakeholders Saenz, These tasks become even more frustrating for board members who are new and old alike when they do not have clearly defined roles that are understood by all Hooever, According to Grissom , effective school systems are led by superintendents and school boards who unite with a common cause and develop a deep mutual trust and respect for each other and the system they support Reimer, Developing ongoing learning experiences for both new and veteran board members keeps each member abreast of new trends from the Federal and State government, allows networking with other board members across the state in developing solutions to problem issues, and allows board members to work together in gaining better understanding to local issues Fowler, ; Grissom, ; Malen, ; Simpson, All of these functions require extensive knowledge of the system and thus training in these areas is essential for good governance Maeroff, New school board members in Georgia are required to attend 15 hours of school board training; and veteran members are required to attend nine hours of board training GSBA, Board members are trained in policy orientation, legal issues, roles and responsibilities, communications, student achievement, and other workshops that may be requested by the system GSBA, No board member, not even the chair, has any more power than another Usdan, Bjork writes that no board member has any legal authority to act as an individual on any issue and that all board actions must consider the betterment of the entire system, not just a specific location or group.

    Focusing on policies and not the day to day operations of the schools by the board members helps to guide the system to a high functioning status when the board holds high expectations of student achievement district wide Bagley, High student achievement should be communicated at parent meetings, school board meetings, on the websites, public functions, and with each other Feinberg, Summary Working together as an educational team really does not matter if student achievement is not the main focus of the jobs.

    Team building, role enhancement, and budget seminars mean nothing if the two groups are not dedicated to academic success. The only way to ensure academic success for the students is to hold each board member accountable for hiring a superintendent that shares the same goals, focus and vision for the best interest of the community. Focusing on school leadership is important but can only happen when those at the top have a clear vision, set goals, and are constantly evaluating the success of the projects. Board members must not overlook the need for self evaluation when programs and process are not effective.

    Superintendents must provide the board with enough information to make decisions that are beneficial for all students and not just the ones in their own district. Even though learning takes place in the classroom with talented and gifted teachers, their effectiveness will only be seen when working in a system that has a functioning school board, and a visionary as a superintendent who is more interested in developing policies that advance learning than getting bogged down in the daily happenings of the system.

    Developing practices that reach out to the community and invite two-way communication will build a foundation for a high performing school system. References Ament, T. The role of the superintendent and school board chair in building relational trust with newly elected board members in small rural Washington school districts Doctoral dissertation, Washington State University. Bagley, R. The sustainability of superintendent-led reforms to improve student achievement.

    Doctoral dissertation, University of Southern California. Leading in an era of change: The micropolitics of superintendent-board relations. Alsbury ed. Brewer, D. The role of politics and governance in educational accountability. Education, 8 3 , Briffault, R. The local school district in American law. Howell Ed.

    Read online. Download PDF. Download EPUB. SETH A hard, shocking, but extremely useful book that makes you think! Donations from outside organizations seem to be popular as well. The event held at T. While students from Virginia were there, others came from areas such as Florida, New York, Illinois, and other places. It was, to say the least, a resounding success.

    The event showed why HBCUs are so important and how the community may come together for a great cause. State legislators have cut into budgets for higher education, and Congress has attempted to curtail the available dollars for Pell Grants. But the great news for students who may see a bleak future due to current events is that we still have organizations and churches that are willing to provide support for students who need it, and for those who deserve it.

    The Institute has a track record of aiding minority business development as the group offers services to assist the growth of small businesses. But this new program has potential to serve a grand number of black students.

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    With no reason to believe that the exchange will not have success, Duke Energy will likely to continue to provide financial support that will only grow in the future. As mentioned previously, the goal of this new exchange is to foster relationships between corporations and HBCU students.

    Students who are looking for jobs in a specific area will likely be paired with mentors or given the opportunity to meet and greet leaders from certain industries. With growth and limitless potential on the horizon, students at HBCUs in North Carolina should be excited about this new venture. A lot of money goes to help students go to school, preparing the next generation of students for the workforce. Notice also the donation to The Institute, where the eventual goal is better-represented leadership in corporate America. The money that is being used to further HBCU causes is an investment in tomorrow, rather than a means to survive today.

    In recent years, it seems like HBCUs have been dwindling into obscurity. They have been fighting potential obsolescence as more black students choose to attend predominantly white universities. To stick around, they have needed to rebrand themselves or establish the kind of reputation that keeps students dying to attend. Unfortunately, many schools have been unable to do this and have faced de-funding and closing. But it seems as if recently, the government is realizing just how important these institutions are.