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Governance
Doing the Job!
March 08, 2010

In Board Bit #1, we offered a practical job description for a Charter Board:


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?
* Management...is the school managed in a prudent &
   ethical manner?
                              - and -
* Board  Process...is the Board governing the right way?

                      

Please note the definition stipulates the need for monitoring and assessing Academy performance against Board expectations.  These sequential actions are essential to “close the loop” of good governance – in other words – if something is important enough for the Board to expect, it is equally important the Board know if it got what it expected.  When the cycle of expectations setting, monitoring and assessment are completed, the loop of governance is properly closed.

 

Unfortunately, Boards seldom close that loop.  In fact, and at best, Boards typically set expectations for school performance in a haphazard and varied manner that takes the form of unconnected documents, statements at Board meetings, email grenades, word of mouth and other variations on that theme.  The Board is then governing more by anecdote and failing memories than an accountability-driven and tangible system of governance.

 

In contrast, if a Board sets concise, written performance expectations that are focused on the right things and monitored regularly, the assessment of performance can follow and the stage is set for improved governance and a respectful and accountable relationship with your school administrator/ESP.

 

But what about those policy manuals every Board owns?  While they do contain 1,000 or so pages of ideals, processes, protocols and procedures, they do not easily serve as a practical tool for effective and efficient governance. They will, however, protect the Board from potential legal actions and guide your administration as it implements those policies, especially those required by Michigan law.

 

When a Board sets about the task of developing its initial set of performance expectations, some front-end time must be put aside for creating that basic document.  But it is time well spent as we hope you will agree when you see some examples of what’s inside.

 

The next Board Bits will provide some examples of expectations set by Michigan Charter Boards in the Management Boundaries area (the best place to start).

 

Please stay tuned!

 
Other Bits
05-24-2010
Time to Look at Ourselves
04-27-2010
Governance, Management and You!
03-15-2010
Here We Go
03-08-2010
Doing the Job!
03-02-2010
Picking up where we left off...
01-29-2010
Where it all Begins!