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A groundbreaking report released by the National School Boards Association (NSBA), the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, and the Iowa School Boards Foundation today gives new insights into the workings of America’s nearly 14,000 school boards.
The report, School Boards Circa 2010: Governance in the Accountability Era, finds that school board members are increasingly concerned about student achievement, and their work is further focusing on increasing student learning and preparing students with 21st century skills to compete in the global economy.
“The research shows school boards are stepping up to the challenge of dramatically improving our public schools for the 21st century and focusing on student achievement,” said NSBA’s Executive Director Anne L. Bryant.
The report, authored by researchers Frederick Hess and Olivia Meeks of the American Enterprise Institute, compiles responses of more than 1,000 school board members and superintendents from all types of school districts—urban, suburban, and rural.
The report is the first comprehensive national survey of school boards in nearly a decade. It provides national data on who serves on school boards, what board members think about a number of school reform initiatives, how they do their work, how school board elections are carried out, and the nature of the relationship between the school board and the superintendent.
Hess previously collaborated with NSBA on the release of School Boards at the Dawn of the 21st Century in 2002. This survey builds on some of that data but also provides more extensive research about the inner workings of school boards as they focus on accountability and student learning.