Other Ways to Govern Schools



If the school board is not the proper vehicle for looking after the educational interests of a community’s children, then what is the alternative? There has been a range of other approaches across the country, though most school districts have been largely untouched by these experiments, and the traditional school board has continued to carry on unimpeded with business as usual in most locales. This could mean that no place has found a better form of governance or that the weight of the status quo is just too heavy to lift. Yet efforts to diminish board authority have a long history and remain viable. Various forms of school-based management during the final decades of the twentieth century enhanced the power of school communities, reducing the authority of central boards. The Chicago Reform Act, passed by the Illinois legislature in 1988, for instance, exemplifies this approach. It provided for governance through local school councils, empowering parents, other residents, and teachers to select principals and to have input.


Public School School District School System School Board Charter School 
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© Gene I. Maeroff 2010

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