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Where it all Begins!
January 29, 2010

The most fundamental determinant of Charter Board success is a consensus understanding of the Board’s mission.  In other words, the Board has a clear grasp of its “job description”.  Everything follows from that.

Here are some misguided choices: 

1.  The Board is the appointed cheerleader for the Academy!

Remember, cheerleaders must root for the team regardless of performance (ref:  Detroit Lions), are not expected to be objective and take no responsibility for on-field results.  Good School Boards don`t cheer lead, they are too busy making sure their Academies are providing a high quality education for their students.

2.  The Board is the appointed Inspector General for the Academy!

This style features frequent second-guessing and/or blame-casting directed toward the Academy Administration.  It is based on the “never trust” model of governance – a recipe for trouble.    If your Board doesn`t trust your administrator for good cause,  it`s time for a change.  The marriage is over.

3.  The Board is appointed to help run the show!

Remember, others are paid to do so.  More important, if the Board plays the role of super-staff, school administration cannot be held properly accountable for results.  However, if your administration isn`t producing results - assuming you gave them the freedom to do so -  again, it`s time for a change.

4.  The Board exhibits a haphazard variation of 1, 2 and 3 above!

This style is uniquely troublesome because the Board plays different roles at different times on different issues.  All that is predictable is that the Board is unpredictable.

In contrast to these choices, MACSB offers the following job description for Charter Governing Boards:

The Board`s job is to make sure the Academy "works" - doing so by  monitoring and assessing Academy performance against written, Board-established expectations for:

* Student Achievement...are kids learning?
* the school managed in a prudent & ethical manner?
                              - and -
* Board the Board governing the right way?

Upcoming Board Bits will describe the guidelines for establishment of performance expectations, provide some examples of expectations adopted by Charter Boards and indicate how performance expectations are monitored and assessed by the Board.

Other Bits
Time to Look at Ourselves
Governance, Management and You!
Here We Go
Doing the Job!
Picking up where we left off...
Where it all Begins!