What Makes a Great School Board Member?
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By GreatSchools Staff
Electing Effective School Board Members
How can you be sure that the education in your local public schools meets your expectations? A good place to start is by electing effective school board members.
When deciding which candidate to support and vote for, you'll want to attend community candidate forums and ask hard questions. Former, Charlotte Mecklenburg, North Carolina, school board member Arthur Griffin suggests asking the following questions:
- What actions have you taken to improve student achievement?
For challengers and incumbents:
- What are your visions for this school district five to 10 years from now and what systemic changes will you work toward to achieve that vision?
- What policies would you initiate to improve student achievement?
- What are the characteristics of a superintendent you most admire?
- How would you measure success for a superintendent?
- What level of skills should high school students have upon graduation?
You'll also want to find out if the candidate has good analytical, leadership and collaborative skills to move the district forward. A good candidate does not have a single-issue focus but rather is interested in the success of all students in the district.
Deciding To Run for the School Board
If you have sound judgment, an even temper, a willingness to collaborate and a sincere interest in public education in your community, you might consider running for your local school board. You will need to be 18 years of age, a registered voter, a resident of your district and eligible under the state constitution to run for office.
If mounting your own campaign seems daunting but you are concerned about who is on the board, consider gathering a group of concerned citizens together to seek and support a candidate or candidates who share your vision for the district.
Most importantly, be sure to educate yourself about the issues and encourage others in your community to do the same. And don't forget to vote!