The following recommendations for changing the way school boards and superintendents work come from a new study published by the Educational Research Service and the New England School Development Council. The study was supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation.
- Develop state laws that clearly outline the roles and responsibilities of school board members and superintendents, allowing board members to focus on policies and planning, while superintendents manage the schools.
- Change laws that bog school board members down in the minutiae of day-to-day operations or prevent them from meeting in private to evaluate their work as a team.
- Mandate orientation programs and continuing professional development for school board members and superintendents.
- Create national standards for superintendents that would revamp certification and graduate school programs.
- Overhaul graduate education programs to provide aspiring superintendents with the skills to work as a team with board members and the community.
- Establish a National Center for Board/Superintendent Leadership that would serve as a resource for leadership reform and provide professional development.
The study, “Thinking Differently: Recommendations for 21st Century School Board/Superintendent Leadership, Governance, and Teamwork for High Student Achievement,” is available for $7 from the ERS Member Services Information Center, 2000 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201-2908; (800) 791-9308; fax: (800) 791-9309; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.