Check out the Education Talk Radio show from Friday, January 13, 2012 with National School Board Association‘s Executive Director Anne L. Bryant discussing our upcoming 2012 Annual Conference in Boston and the importance of school board professional development and leadership.
School Board News Today, an online publication of NSBA, provides timely and relevant stories and analysis from NSBA and other news outlets to school board members, administrators, and all others interested in K-12 education.
Articles tagged with professional development
School’s out, summer’s on, and for many school board members the real work starts. I’m talking about board development, whether that means a board retreat to establish a mission statement and goals, a review to determine the district’s progress towards set goals, or workshops and courses to enhance and deepen knowledge on school governance and current issues.
Education is a dynamic and volatile field and the districts that navigate the changes best are the ones with leadership teams who understand the value of regular professional development and training, as I discovered in reporting for the July cover story for ASBJ.
“People aren’t born understanding the intricacies of school funding formulas, parliamentiary procedure, open meetings, and public records requirements,” Lisa Bartusek, NSBA’s associate executive director of state association services, told me. “Board training helps lay citizens get up to speed quickly with the practical knowledge to perform their role.”
In fact, this knowledge base is so important that 20 states currently mandate board training for newly elected board members and even ongoing training for sitting board members.
Imagine you have a complex medical condition that requires the work of a top surgeon. Fortunately, you’re able to get an initial appointment, but arranging a date for surgery is more problematic.
“No, not Tuesday,” the scheduler tells you. “Dr. Welby does physicals on Tuesdays. And Wednesday he fills out insurance forms.”
No well-run medical practice would squander its most valuable asset — its physicians’ expertise — like that. But that’s what schools do all the time with their most valuable assets, according to a recent article by Frederick M. Hess, director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute.
Two weeks ago, I told you about a report by The New Teacher Project called The Widget Effect (Our National Failure to Acknowledge and Act on Differences in Teacher effectiveness) , which says that most teacher evaluation systems fail in distinguishing between average (and often, below average) teachers and exceptional ones.
Hess’s article in the summer issue of Education Next is called How to Get the Teachers We Want, but it might easily be called The Widget Effect, Part II, because, he says, schools do the same thing in failing to differentiate between most teachers and those with expertise in critical areas such as reading and mentoring at-risk youth.
“…Schools and school systems casually waste scarce talent by operating on the implicit assumption that most teachers will be similarly adept at everything.” Hess writes. “In a routine day, a terrific 4th grade reading teacher might give lessons in reading for just one hour, while spending another five hours teaching other subjects in which she is less effective, filling out paperwork, and so on.”