A Michigan School Board Meets Tough Challenges
The Southfield Public Schools cannot boast of impressive test scores; many of the district’s students are struggling academically. Yet, this Michigan school system is a success story. Despite a growing population of economically disadvantaged and at-risk students, academic performance is rising, and the achievement gap is narrowing.
Ill. School Board: Making Change Work
School leaders in Illinois’ Skokie-Morton Grove School District 69 knew they had to make some major changes in how they did business. After lengthy talks with their teachers union, school officials broke away from the traditional salary schedule and tied future compensation to inflation -- a move that should help stabilize future budgets.
Tenn. School Board Dissastified with Status Quo
The leadership of Tennessee’s Hamblen County School District is experienced and stable. But that stability and experience doesn’t mean the district’s leadership team is satisfied with the status quo. Forward thinking and assertive leadership are necessary constants in managing Hamblen’s 18 schools.
Agents of Change: Milford Public Schools
Sometimes leadership is about forging ahead, based on your own knowledge and expertise. But other times – and often in the case of school boards – it has to do with supporting the administration your board has helped assemble. You must ask questions, but ultimately it may come down to a matter of trust.
School Board Success Story: Arizona
After years of lagging academic performance within their district, the leaders of Arizona’s Balsz Elementary School District searched for a way to turn things around. In 2009, they hit upon a bold approach: extending the school year by 20 days – a policy move that has sparked a remarkable change of fortune.
School Board Success Story: Indiana
The Warsaw Community school board faced some major hurdles. In 2011, the Warsaw Community Schools received an overall grade of C in the state accountability system, with several elementary schools earning Ds. In 2012, the third year of Warsaw’s reform initiative, all schools earned As from the state.
Success Story: Good Governance in Montana
When officials in Missoula, Mont., realized that nearly one in five students failed to graduate from high school on time, instead of assigning blame, they tackled the problem by creating Graduation Matters Missoula. In the first full year of the program, the dropout rate fell by 47 percent.