Discussion of Chapter 6 of "Effective School Boards"

Chapter Six of "Effective School Boards: Strategies for Improving Board Performance" is entitled Acting Strategically.

 

The author identifies five primary activities that contribute to effective, strategic action on the part of School Boards: (pg 72-78)

  1. Address Critical Issues
  2. Plan
  3. Organize
  4. Consider Context
  5. Evaluate

The author identifies three actions that are critical for board effectiveness in the area of strategic action: (pg 78)

  1. Take the high road
  2. Ask whether things are working in the district
  3. Ask whether you are doing what you should be doing as a board

The author proposes questions for the board to consider: (pg 79)

  • Is your board more involved in trying to put out fires than in preparing for the future?
  • Has your board set clear organizational priorities for the year ahead?
  • Does your board delay action until an issue becomes urgent or critical?
  • Do your board meetings tend to focus more on current concerns than on preparing for the future?
  • At least once a year, does your board ask the superintendent [to] articulate his vision for the school district's future and strategies to realize that vision?
  • Has your board on occasion evaded responsibility for some important issue facing the school district?
  • Does your board often discuss where the school district should be headed five or more years into the future?
  • Within the past year, has your board reviewed the school district's strategies for attaining its long-term goals?
  • Have there been board meetings where the discussion focused on identifying or overcoming the school district's weaknesses?
  • Does your board discuss events and trends in the larger environment that may present specific opportunities for your school district?
  • Does your board make explicit use of the long-range priorities of your school district in dealing with current issues?
  • Is more than half of your board's time spent in discussions of issues of importance to the school district's long-range future?