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Governance Efficacy

December, 2014

"Effective governance requires a willingness to be held accountable and to hold others accountable to the results of excellence and equity for all students, without exception." - Dr. María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, IDRA President and CEO

Published 10 times a year, each edition explores issues facing U.S. education today and strategies to better serve every student. This newsletter is published in print and on the IDRA website, in addition to this eLetter format.

Students’ Civil Rights is a Matter of Good Governance

by Bradley Scott, Ph.D.

School boards of education must protect and guarantee the civil rights of all learners. In this article, Bradley Scott, Ph.D., recounts the recent efforts of the South Central Collaborative for Equity with five school districts to create or revise critical policy concerns to ensure the protection of students’ civil rights in several areas. - Keep Reading

Tracking the Learning and Tracking the Dollar – A School Board Member’s Priorities

Interview with Velma Vela Ybarra conducted by Aurelio M. Montemayor, M.Ed.

Among the many responsibilities of school boards, monitoring student achievement and allocating funds responsibly are critical. In this article, taken from an interview conducted by Aurelio Montemayor, M.Ed., Velma Vela Ybarra, a school board member for Harlandale ISD, relates her motivation and experiences in this key post. - Keep Reading

Eight Characteristics of an Effective School Board

Eight Characteristics of an Effective School Board 

  1. Effective school boards commit to a vision of high expectations for student achievement and quality instruction and define clear goals toward that vision
  2. Effective school boards have strong shared beliefs and values about what is possible for students and their ability to learn, and of the system and its ability to teach all children at high levels.
  3. Effective school boards are accountability driven, spending less time on operational issues and more time focused on policies to improve student achievement.
  4. Effective school boards have a collaborative relationship with staff and the community and establish a strong communications structure to inform and engage both internal and external stakeholders in setting and achieving district goals.
  5. Effective boards are data savvy; they embrace and monitor data, even when the information is negative, and use it to drive continuous improvement.
  6. Effective school boards align and sustain resources, such as professional development, to meet district goals.
  7. Effective school boards lead as a united team with the superintendent, each from their respective roles, with strong collaboration and mutual trust.
  8. Effective school boards take part in team development and training, sometimes with their superintendents, to build shared knowledge, values and commitments for their improvement efforts.

Dervarics, C. and E. O’Brien. “Eight Characteristics of Effective School Boards,” the Center for Public Education (Alexandria, VA: The Center for Public Education, 2011).

More Resources

School Board Member, Velma Ybarra - video

Six Goals of Educational Equity - bilingual flier

Sixth Generation of Civil Rights and Educational Equity – episode 113 

IDRA OurSchool data portal - video introduction

Communities, School Boards and Education Policy - article

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