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ERIC Number: ED475193
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Dec
Pages: 31
Abstractor: N/A
Big City School Boards: Problems and Options.
Hill, Paul T.; Warner-King, Kelly; Campbell, Christine; McElroy, Meaghan; Munoz-Colon, Isabel
Though the public believes that urban school boards should handle problems with failing schools, urban school boards spend very little time considering ways to turn such schools around or transforming the educational experiences of at-risk students. Today's school board members are expected to be interest representatives, trustees for children, and delegates of the state. These missions are in conflict because they require boards to serve different masters and accomplish different objectives. Mission confusion is one reason why school boards often look disorganized. Legislatures exercise great control over local school boards, since boards operate on a grant of authority from the state. School board duties are defined via accretion. Past approaches to school board missions (i.e., discipline via standards, school board training, and imitating boards of private business) have failed. Options for righting the balance in favor of trusteeship include broadening the constituency to which school board members answer, limiting school boards' basic powers and duties, and eliminating school boards' exclusive authority to oversee schools in a particular geographic area. Three appendices contain data on school board duties defined by accretion under state law, school board responsibilities, and how state and mayoral takeovers have changed school board powers. (Contains 26 footnotes.) (SM)
Center on Reinventing Public Education, Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington, Box 353060, Rm. 109K, Parrington Hall, Seattle, WA 98195-3060. Tel: 206-685.2214; Fax: 206-221-7402; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, MD.
Authoring Institution: Washington Univ., Seattle. Center on Reinventing Public Education.