The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in the Work of School Boards



Reconciling and satisfying the various constituencies in a school district is a juggling act that a school board ignores at its peril. Far more than many other kinds of nonprofit boards, those that oversee public schools operate in a fishbowl, taking on issues that may ignite public passions. Democratic principles seem to demand that school boards respond to public wishes, but this is not always possible—especially when the public is divided or makes demands that are not in the best interests of the school system. People who’ve paid no attention to the local school board seem to get it in their sights quickly when a board wants to, say, rezone attendance areas feeding into particular schools or change busing policies.


School District School System Board Member School Board Teacher Union 
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© Gene I. Maeroff 2010

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