ERIC Number: ED469432
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002
Reference Count: N/A
School Boards at the Dawn of the 21st Century: Conditions and Challenges of District Governance.
Hess, Frederick M.
This report draws on the results of an extensive study to illuminate the nature of school boards and the challenges they face. Data were gathered from a survey of board members in 2,000 school districts. The response rate was 41 percent. Following are some of the more notable findings from the study. Boards in large districts (more than 25,000 students) are fundamentally different from boards in smaller districts: Briefly, large-district boards tend to be more political than small-district boards. Questions of funding and student achievement are leading topics of local concern. To address school discipline and safety, a majority of districts use locker searches and dress codes. Respondents reported spending about 25 hours per month on board business. Two-thirds of respondents reported receiving no salary for their board service. School boards are somewhat less racially diverse than the nation as a whole. Overall, 61.1 percent of board members are male. School board members have higher incomes and are better educated than the typical American. In general, board elections are relatively apolitical affairs, with few elections deemed "very competitive." The mean length of board service among respondents is 6.7 years. (Contains 46 tables.) (WFA)
Descriptors: Board of Education Policy, Board of Education Role, Boards of Education, Elementary Secondary Education, Governance, Public Policy, School Administration, School Districts
National School Boards Association, 1680 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 703-838-6722; Fax: 703-683-7590. Web site: http://www.nsba.org. For full text: http://www.nsba.org/bookreports/SBDawn21stCent.pdf.
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National School Boards Association, Alexandria, VA.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Board Community Relationship; Board Member Responsibility
Note: Written with assistance from Kathleen Grammatico and Amy Klekotka.