Renewing America's Progress: A Positive Solution to School Reform

By Fredric H. Genck | Go to book overview

23
Accountability Plan: Responsibilities and Relationships
Local democracy is the oldest and finest form of public service. School boards are America's best expression of this tradition. American school boards have a unique opportunity today to contribute to our future progress and success by accomplishing the following:
• Giving America the quality schools we need to support our economic success and social progress into the twenty-first century
• Supporting America's economic competitiveness in a world economy of information and services, by assuring that we have the talent we need
• Turning around urban decline, eliminating the underclass, restarting civil rights progress, and adding economic competitiveness to equal opportunity.

While there are significant improvement opportunities in suburban and rural schools, the most important and substantial opportunity is in America's big cities, where poor school performance is causing the underclass, urban crisis, and depressed property values. Good schools could reverse the process. Fortunately, school boards are responding positively to these challenges. They are moving away from traditional authoritarian school administration, where boards were merely rubber stamps for an all-powerful superintendent, to participative and resultsoriented management that is improving student learning and satisfying teachers, parents, and taxpayers.

Previous chapters have described this transition and the management requirements it is creating. The focus of this chapter is on board and superintendent responsibilities and relationships -- how the board through its own behavior can have a powerful impact on district per-

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