ERIC Number: ED123746
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Apr-10
What Makes School Boards Effective?
Zeigler, L. Harmon
Two models may be used to describe school board governance. The democratic model defines effectiveness in terms of democratic criteria. It is characterized by vigorous competition for school board positions; board members are responsive to their constituencies; the superintendent acts as policy implementor rather than policy originator, and a chain of direct accountability is maintained among the public, the board, and the superintendent. The professional model dictates that board members should defer to the superintendent, who is the expert capable of making policy decisions most advantageous to the clientele (students). Selection of board members should not be characterized by controversy over the issues, as in the democratic model. Each board member must decide for himself which model (and concept of effectiveness) is most desirable. The research on which these remarks are based indicates that school boards and superintendents often fail to ascertain what their communities want. There is little citizen participation in board policy-setting. In most cases, the board follows the lead of the superintendent in policy-making. One conclusion to be drawn from this data is that the professional model is the dominant one. (DS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.; Oregon Univ., Eugene. Center for Educational Policy and Management.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National School Boards Association (36th, San Francisco, California, April 10-13, 1976)