School Board Roles

Decent Essays
Public schooling in the United States seems somewhat unique in the fact it is essentially a set of state-based systems unlike many other nations education systems that are managed and operated by their national government. “Although the Tenth Amendment [of the U.S. Constitution] seems merely to state the truism that all that is not delegated to Congress is reserved to the states, the Court found in this amendment a core principle of state sovereignty. This principle required that the federal government not intrude in areas traditionally controlled by the state.” (Epstein, 2004, pg. 46). There is a federal government role in education and there are many national influences such as education organization representing diverse groups from various…show more content…
state board of education),which is typically charged with exercising general control over the elementary and secondary schools in the state and with implementing legislative mandates. However, in most cases administration of school districts is typically left in local hands. Even though local school board authority has been greatly weakened over the last several decades, they continue to serve an important role and function at local school districts. Eadie asserts that a high-impact school board is, very simply, one that carries out its governing role in a full and timely fashion (Eadie, 2005, pg. 4). However, the school board has other important roles including; looking out for students, serving as a critical public link to public schools, incorporating the community’s view of what education should ‘look like’, being accessible to the public and accountable for the performance of their schools, serving as the education watchdog for their communities while ensuring that students get the best education for the tax dollars spent, and providing clear information to their constituents about the achievement of…show more content…
School boards have been an integral feature of the U.S. public education system for more than a century, and they are widely regarded as the principal democratic body capable of representing citizens in local education decisions. School board members, both individually and collectively, must serve as advocates for children. They must make the community aware of its responsibility to our next generation and support programs that help meet the needs of all children. Peter Downs in Schoolhouse Shams brings out important concepts of advocacy when describing the desegregation of our U.S. schools, its history, and the effects it had on students, families, and communities. In the mission to educate ALL children, school boards as well as other educators must advocate “instead of a mission to sort students--those not fit to enter school, those not fit for high school, those not fit to graduate--public schools today have a mission to educate everyone to diploma or “college ready” levels (Downs, 2013, pg. 7). Additionally, school improvement and academic achievement have taken center stage as indicators of successful school systems. “Standardized tests are at the center of state and federal school-reform efforts and school boards answer to them.” (Downs, 2013, pg. 15). School boards are accountable to more than one master in terms of governance. The formal line of authority emanates from the state
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