Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Effective School Board Characteristics

The George Lucas Educational Foundation has published a very nice article outlining The Five Characteristics of Effective School Boards by Arthur Griffin, Jr. and Carter D. Ward.

Since we are in the middle of budget season, here's two of their observations:

Effective Boards Allocate Resources to Needs
Not all students walk through the school doors with the same needs. Good school boards recognize this fact and allocate resources such as time, money, and personnel and adjust practices accordingly. Documents of the school district, such as the annual budget, are viewed as tools to reach student-learning priorities, and the district's spending and practices do not protect sacred cows.

Effective Boards Watch the Return on Investment

We are all accountable to somebody. Effective school boards are mindful of their own accountability to the communities that entrust their children to public schools; effective boards routinely and regularly measure and report the return on investment of the education dollars they spend. Effective policy makers today make their greatest gains by asking appropriate questions, and productive boards recognize the self-instructive value in making the following query an ongoing refrain: What services are we providing to which students at what cost and resulting in what benefits?

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