Leading in Difficult Times: Are Urban School Boards Up to the Task Policy Trends.Report as inadecuate




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This brief describes the challenges facing urban school boards, reviews the governance alternatives being tried in various cities, and highlights some related considerations. The challenges school boards face vary, but some themes are common across urban areas: (1) an ill-defined role can impair effectiveness; (2) competing political interests can hinder a boards impact; (3) board selection processes can limit a boards representational nature; and (4) boards are constrained by the information they receive. A number of board reform efforts have emerged in districts across the United States. The first, role reform, more clearly defines the line between policy and operational decision making, and clarifies expectations for staff to diminish micromanagement. Electoral reform changes the way in which school board members are elected. Mayoral control is another reform approach that places more responsibility in the hands of the mayor as external actor for school district decisions. By itself, strong, positive leadership on the local school board is seldom enough to overcome the systemic problems that plague many large urban school districts. However, the critical role of the school board is undeniable, and worth continued examination. (Contains 33 endnotes and 22 references.) (SLD)

Descriptors: Boards of Education, City Government, Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Governance, Government School Relationship, School Districts, Urban Schools

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Author: Villegas, Malia

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=6338&id=ED478513







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