ERIC Number: ED439480
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Oct
Motivations for School Board Membership: Implications for Superintendents and District Accountability.
Mountford, Meredith; Brunner, C. Cryss
This paper examines how motivations for school-board membership influence individual board member's agendas. It suggests the implications of individual agendas for board dynamics and superintendents when both must be accountable to state and federal mandates and their own district's desire to collaborate to improve academic achievement for all children. Data for the report were obtained through traditional qualitative methods. Ten school-board members (five males, five females) participated in open-ended interviews. Triangulation through interviews with the superintendents of the participants' districts and with colleagues of the participants was also performed. Interviews were supplemented with the examination of board minutes and voting patterns. Three key findings emerged from the study: (1) board members motivated by personal agendas were more likely to micromanage--an approach that appeared to inhibit collaborative processes and full board participation in decision making; (2) "reformers" were more likely to make decisions in a collaborative manner--sample board members who were placed in the reformer quadrant were more likely to empower others in decision making; and (3) some board members felt they had lost equal input and voice to single-issue board members, expressing concern that the personal-agenda board members pushed too hard for rapid change without considering all factors first. (Contains 24 references.) (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the University Council for Educational Administration (Minneapolis, MN, October 1999).