Publications Department, CRESPAR/Johns Hopkins University, 3003 N. Charles St., Ste. 200, Baltimore, MD 21218. Tel: 410-516-8808; Fax: 410-516-8890. For full text: http://www.csos.jhu.edu.
This report provides a review of literature published in the past 2 decades on the role and effectiveness of school boards. Though school boards are but one component of school district leadership--the superintendent and other district administrators and staff constituting the other main components--school boards are the focus of this review because they have a distinct role and have been understudied. The report is organized into five major sections. It begins by presenting a brief history of school boards, then it describes their current state. The charge that school boards are outmoded and should be eliminated cannot be addressed adequately without an understanding of how they have evolved and currently function. In the third section, school boards and educational governance reforms are examined in order to describe the larger context in which school boards operate and explore how school boards have been, and might be, reformed in the future. In the next section, characteristics of effective school boards that have been identified by school board experts are described. Because qualitative and quantitative research on school boards is limited, the final section discusses research limitations and future directions. (Contains 116 references.) (SM)
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Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed At Risk, Baltimore, MD.
Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.