Vanishing School Boards
Where School Boards Have Gone, Why We Need Them, and How We Can Bring Them Back
By (author) Patrick Rice
Publication date:11 December 2013
Length of book:298 pages
Since Nation at Risk, NCLB and RTT, the once thought sacred institution of school boards as catalysts to ensure local control of schools is being redefined and are under heavy attack. Increasingly, school boards are disappearing from the discussion of promoting student achievement and their role as educational decision-makers have significantly declined. The aims of public education are gradually being federalized and privatized. In Vanishing School Boards, author Patrick Rice give various reasons for the descent of school boards, reasons why school boards are vital, the importance of board training and how the superintendent can assist the board in their mission of delivering a quality education to all students.
Rice writes about today's local school boards and their enormous responsibilities in an ever-changing educational environment. His research is extensive; he has pulled together a number of insights and perspectives about a variety of needs today's school boards face. These needs range from training board members adequately to developing appropriate communication between boards and sitting superintendents. He argues that state and federal involvement is tending toward more control over school finances and curricular decision making. Rice believes that because of a move toward uniform standards and national assessment tests, 'we'll have a national curriculum for the first time ever.' . . . .Rice points out that lawmakers are supporting the creation of charter schools based on 'the premise that charter schools need to be exempt from much of the state and federal bureaucracy in order to increase student achievement.' He is right on target here, asking 'why not give all public schools these options?' Summing Up: Recommended. All readership levels.