Black box or black hole?
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution cracked open the sealed box of school boards—and didn’t like what it saw inside. While many Atlanta-area board members are experienced and educated leaders, others are untrained in budget creation and execution. Some have documented histories with money mismanagement; forty percent have personal financial problems, even as they control multimillion dollar education budgets. Investigations by the AJC also uncovered nepotism—at least 35 percent of school board members polled had family members who worked in their district—and a failure by the state to police training requirements for board members. To ease these woes, the paper highlights suggestions for reform: Set education requirements for school board members and mandate training for new and incumbent members alike. Unfortunately, these weak-kneed changes—which aren’t likely to occur, anyway—cannot get at the heart of the issue so well-articulated by the AJC. Instead of inconsequential changes like requiring school board members to have a high school diploma, why don’t we saw the lid off the box, empty it out, and truly rethink the way we structure school governance?
“Few study power of school boards,” by James Salzer and Nancy Badertscher, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, October 10, 2010.
blog comments powered by Disqus