A Debate Regarding School Boards

818 Words Oct 4th, 2015 4 Pages
On April 26th, 2011, the Thomas Fordham Institute hosted a debate regarding school boards in the 21st century. Four panelists discussed the validity and importance of school boards. While the panelists disagreed on several points, all parties felt that school boards are still important in today’s society. Although school boards are still vital at a certain level, serious concerns were also presented during the panel discussion regarding the traditional practices of governance and localized centers of control within school boards today.
Anne Bryant provides research-based studies, examples, and justification in favor of school boards. She outlined that effective school boards must have a shared vision, set tightly focused goals, utilize data, focus on policy, and focus and collaborate with all stakeholders. According to Bryant, school boards must connect to the community and the local taxpayers while boosting community engagement. While we agree that school boards must be concerned about student achievement, I appreciate that she also expressed the idea that most school boards do not believe in silver bullets and are caution in nature. I hesitate to support school boards because I feel they often tend to micromanage and feel the power to make sweeping policies even though they lack the significant scientific background of education. Her recognition that school boards often want reform, but know there are not quick fixes helped to reassure me of their intentions.…
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