How Do Effective School Boards Act?

By Patte Barth

What makes an effective school board -- one that boosts student achievement? From a research perspective, it’s a complex question that involves evaluating virtually all of a board’s functions, from internal governance and policy formulation to communication with teachers, building administrators, and the public.

But the research that exists is clear, according to a brief published by NSBA’s Center for Public Education (CPE) in late January. The brief, which examined seven research studies conducted between 1993 and 2008, says high-achieving boards exhibit habits and characteristics that are markedly different from those of their low-achieving counterparts.

What makes a board effective?

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