School Leadership Literature

By Doug Eadie

A few days ago, batting around ideas for this month’s column, I decided to write about an aspect of school governance that is critical but often undervalued: the responsibility of board members to educate themselves not just on their governing responsibilities, but more broadly about issues in the field of public education.

This is a facet of “board self-management,” which I’ve described in several of my books. In addition to educating yourself about the big issues, self-management includes setting governing performance standards and targets and regularly evaluating the board’s performance as a governing body.

Self-education can involve attending NSBA conferences and state school boards association workshops, but another way of staying on top of the changing field of school governance and developments in K-12 education is to build a library of books and periodicals (such as ASBJ -- see 2010’s top education books on Page 28) that are pertinent to governing a modern school district.

The natural starting place, of course, is books that deal explicitly with K-12 governance, and from there you can expand to broader issues. But sometimes you can find wonderful, applicable information in the most unlikely places.

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