The Essential School Board Book highlights effective practices that are common to high-functioning boards around the country—boards that are working successfully with their superintendents and communities to improve teaching and learning.
Amid today’s heightened attention on student achievement, school boards find their responsibilities intensified and transformed. In this age of accountability, all school boards need to consider how best to maintain a focus on student achievement and promote it through district and school policies.
In a highly readable and accessible fashion, the book summarizes research linking school board practices to student achievement. It features stories of sixteen diverse boards around the country—elected and appointed; rural, urban, and suburban—and the policies and procedures they have employed to enhance student achievement. Also included is a resource section for those investigating successful school board policies and practices in more depth.
The Essential School Board Book is one of the best books ever written on school board governance. Every board president and superintendent should make it required reading for the entire board-superintendent team. It is well researched and practical. The advice is sound and comes from real experience and practice that we can all learn from. What’s more, the strategies to increase student achievement and learning work. Walser has done a great service by featuring effective policy and practice for good school governance. This book will prove indispensable to true district transformation. — Anne L. Bryant, executive director, National School Boards Association
In this engaging, practical guide, Walser uses case studies of successful school boards to highlight effective governance practices. She offers real-world solutions that will inspire school board members as well as superintendents, principals, and other leaders striving to build successful partnerships in support of academic achievement. — Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, American Association of School Administrators
After decades of virtual silence on the importance of school boards, Nancy Walser’s book contributes to the recent rediscovery of the influence of American school boards on school reform efforts. Her book stands alone in revealing the inner workings of a diverse group of successful school boards, providing practical and reliable guidance to board members and superintendents. — Thomas L. Alsbury, associate professor and program coordinator, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, North Carolina State University