Browsing Communication Disorders, Counseling, School, and Educational Psychology by Author "Halik, James M"
Does the training of school board members make a difference?Halik, James M (2012-05-21)The purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions of public school superintendents and school board presidents in the United States relative to the orientation and ongoing training that is believed to be necessary for newly elected or selected and experienced board members. At the national, state, and local levels, public education is under a great deal of scrutiny. Public education throughout America is undergoing a significant overhaul unlike any time in the past. Boards of school trustees and superintendents are under the microscope with regard to performance and accountability. There is a lack of extensive research regarding the education, orientation, and training of newly elected or selected and experienced school board members and the perception of how that training might change the members’ effectiveness to influence positively the direction of the school corporation of which they serve. In most states, school board members are not required to have orientation or ongoing training with regard to their role and responsibilities prior to being elected or selected to their seat on the board. In conducting this study, the following questions were addressed and analyzed by a comparison of responses submitted by public school superintendents and school board presidents from coast to coast. 1. Are orientation and ongoing training for school board members important? 2. Do orientation and ongoing training for school board members make a difference? Public school superintendents and school board presidents were randomly selected from throughout the United States from small, medium, and large size school districts. The sample size was 250 public school superintendents and 250 school board presidents from five regions of the country identified by the National School Boards Association as the Northeast, Southern, Central, Western, and Pacific regions. A very high percentage (nearly 90%) of the school board presidents and superintendents reported that board members did attend programs, seminars, or workshops during their first year of service. There is a significant difference between what school board presidents believe and what superintendents believe regarding required or mandated training prior to newly elected or selected board members beginning their role as a member of the board. The majority (80%) of the school board presidents and superintendents in the country reported that board members should be required or mandated to attend programs, seminars, or workshops during their first year of service. On average, only 55% of school board presidents and superintendents in the country believe in-service programs, training seminars, and workshops should be required or mandated for experienced board members after their first year of service on the board.