School Boards

‘Impossible’: School boards are at heart of reopening debate

ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) — Helena Miller listened to teachers, terrified to reenter classrooms, and parents, exhausted from trying to make virtual learning work at home. She heard from school officials who spent hundreds of hours on thousands of details — buses, classrooms, football, arts, special education. She spent countless nights, eyes wide open, her mind wrestling over the safety and education of the 17,000 children she swore to protect.

She thought of her own kids, two in high school and one middle-schooler — the reasons she ran for Rock Hill’s school board six years ago.

And she made the

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2 Delaware school boards vote to start school year online

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Two school boards in Delaware have voted to start the school year with virtual classes.

The school boards of the Capital School District in Dover, and the Milford School District in Milford, a city about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Dover, voted in favor of the move Thursday, The Delaware State News reported.

The Capital School District Board unanimously voted for the decision, while the board members in Milford decided in a 5-1 vote.

The votes for the virtual launch comes as school boards across Delaware are contemplating how to start of the academic year

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Marny Xiong, School Board Chair and Social Justice Champion, Dies at 31 of COVID-19

Marny Xiong, center, was the daughter of Hmong refugees and an activist in the large Hmong community in St. Paul, Minn.

—Courtesy of Amee Xiong

When Marny Xiong saw an injustice, she was usually among the first to act.

When the multicultural center at the University of Minnesota-Duluth campus was vandalized in 2006, she organized black, Asian, Latino, and LGBTQ students to convince administrators to conduct one of its first campus climate surveys and start a black studies degree program. She later got a minor in black studies.

In 2008, when Minneapolis’ police department rewarded officer Jason Anderson the medal

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How School Boards Should Respond to Coronavirus – Rick Hess Straight Up

As families, educators, and community leaders wrestle with COVID-19, we’ll be trying to bring conversations to readers that will be helpful in confronting the challenge.

AJ Crabill2019 recipient of the prestigious James Bryant Conant Award, is a national school board guru and director of governance at the Council of the Great City Schools. Prior to this, AJ served as deputy commissioner in Texas. I recently had the chance to talk to AJ about the role of school boards during the coronavirus. Here’s what he had to say.

Rick: How should school boards be thinking about the challenges of

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Hacked and Cut Off From the Public: This Is School Board Business in the Coronavirus Crisis

The school board in Scranton, Pa., hosted a public meeting on Zoom to discuss the annual budget.

Before the pandemic banished them from meeting in person, hundreds of people had packed Scranton’s school board meetings. The Pennsylvania community’s distrust of the board had been mounting ever since the state auditor discovered years of neglect and fiscal mismanagement, landing the district in more than $200 million of debt.

So when the Scranton board moved its meeting online March 6 to discuss how to close its deficit, more than 350 people logged on, overloading the YouTube video conference tool it was using.

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A Conservative Agenda for School Board Members


—Vector art: Doyata/Getty; background image: Photodisc/Getty

The center right must check the “progressive” left


Michael J. Petrilli & Chester E. Finn Jr.

Let us start with a confession: As card-carrying members of the school-choice and testing-and-accountability wings of the education reform movement, we have at times been dismissive, even hostile, to local school board members. That’s because these elected officials, constrained as they may be by laws, regulations, and the leanings of those they employ, have often seemed willing to protect the status quo and resist changes intended to overhaul the jalopy we call American public schooling.


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A Losing Fight to Keep Schools Desegregated

Letha Muhammad, of south Raleigh, sends her children to district magnet schools in Wake County, N.C., including Moore Square Magnet Middle School pictured behind her. An education activist, Muhammad says it’s critical that the school board be sensitive to how all communities are impacted by any changes to the district’s school assignment plan.

—Caitlin Penna for Education Week

| Corrected: August 13, 2019

Few districts have done as much as Wake County, N.C., has to keep its schools racially and socioeconomically diverse.

It is a battle that the school board says it has been losing.

Now, the

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These School Boards Wanted to Be More Effective, so They Went to Harvard – District Dossier

Nearly 100 school board members from 18 large districts descended on the Harvard Business School earlier this week to dig deep into a major existential question: how to be more effective stewards of their districts.

It’s the start of a unique professional development program for a group that rarely gets a lot of training—school boards—and marks the beginning of a new relationship between the venerable university and the Council of the Great City Schools, which represents large, mainly urban school districts.

The council has worked with its members on capacity building, including by offering on-the-ground technical assistance and consulting, but

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Voter Turnout Drops for School Board Elections Where Charters Thrive

Most charters operate outside the purview of elected school boards, but the publicly funded, independently operated schools have rarely been studied for their impact on school districts as civic institutions.

Now, one of the first studies to take an empirical look at this question finds that the rapid increase in charter enrollment in Ohio in the earlier part of the decade appears to have modestly depressed voter turnout in local school board elections.

A 1 percentage-point increase in charter school enrollment was linked to a decline in votes cast in elections for school board seats of about 2.5 percent to

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