New Report Reveals School Boards’ Strong Commitment to Advancing Public Education
A groundbreaking report released by the National School Boards Association (NSBA), the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, and the Iowa School Boards Foundation gives new insights into the workings of America’s nearly 14,000 school boards.
The report, School Boards Circa 2010: Governance in the Accountability Era (online at www.nsba.org), finds that school board members are increasingly concerned about student achievement, and their work is further focusing on increasing student learning and preparing students with 21st century skills to compete in the global economy.
“The research shows school boards are stepping up to the challenge of dramatically improving our public schools for the 21st century and focusing on student achievement,” said NSBA’s Executive Director Anne L. Bryant.
The report, authored by researchers Frederick Hess and Olivia Meeks of the American Enterprise Institute, compiles responses of more than 1,000 school board members and superintendents from all types of school districts—urban, suburban, and rural. Among the report’s findings:
Two-thirds of those surveyed see an urgent need to improve student achievement, and nine out of 10 are concerned about an overly narrow focus on achievement.
School board members and superintendents have similar goals for preparing their students for college, the workplace, and, above all, “a satisfying and productive life.”
School board members, especially those in large districts, are more representative of the communities they serve than state legislatures and members of Congress. Boards now include women (44 percent are female) at more than twice the rate of the U.S. House Representatives (17.5 percent) and Senate (17 percent).