Thursday, November 10, 2016

Indicators Of Effective School Boards And Board Members

The Michigan Association of School Boards has guidelines for effective boards and board members.

Their guidelines look like a good solid foundation for boards and members to follow.  Probably is a successful plan, if it is followed.  The "if" and "when" they are followed are usually the problems that result in ineffective boards.  Lack of communication  is one of the biggest obstacles to any of these plans being successful.  Communication is an issue I still see as a major problem with the Bridgeport School Board.

The Ethics guidelines part could be expanded more in my opinion. It should include personal behavior and interactions between board members and especially between board members and members of the community.  I have seen or have heard of things between board members and members of the community that I would consider serious ethic violations.

The Culture and Conduct at Board Meetings should include board members behavior not just during the board meetings but also outside of the board meetings, the interactions behind the scenes. 
The first part about "value difference of opinions and don't let differences degenerate into personality conflicts" and also the last part "seek to build consensus and an environment of trust and respect among their fellow board members" are not things that I see happening here with the Bridgeport School Board.  In the almost two years that I have been attending the meetings these two items have been the biggest problems that I have seen.    There have been several occasions where the board meetings have turned into shouting matches  and accusations being yelled at other board members, but they happened at meetings I was not in attendance with my camera.   I am glad I missed those meetings but maybe they are things that the public should see so they understand what goes on at these meetings and where the problems lie.
In my opinion, or maybe more accurately my fear, is that these items will not get better, they will be getting significantly worse in the future.

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