School Boards

Bellwether helped the National Chamber of Commerce take a look at school boards around the country and discuss some key takeaways and ideas for how business can play a constructive role in school board issues.  You can read about the cities – including some off-the-beaten path in ND and WY and some that are more well known here (pdf).  It was released at an event in DC this morning, you can watch here.  And if you’re a parent, editorial board member, voter, etc…you can see a set of questions to ask prospective board members and candidates here (pdf). We chose the cities by geography and diversity so the stories ended up as mix of successful and struggling boards.

Not surprisingly the key inference here is that there is not a single best governance model but rather best habits for boards across various governance structures. There are also a number of constructive ways for business groups to get more involved than is often the case today.

If you want to see the conversation in 140 characters on Twitter you can at #icswschoolboard

9 Replies to “School Boards”

  1. Just in case anyone forgot,

    “The United States Chamber of Commerce (USCC) is an American lobbying group representing the interests of many businesses and trade associations. It is not an agency of the United States government.” -Wikipedia

    It is good to see that Bell Weather is doing fine work for a neoliberal lobbying group. I wonder why the business lobby would be interested in local school boards? Student Achievement – got it…..

    Hopefully they won’t push their science agenda which denies climate change.

    For a look inside the US Chamber of Commerce check out

  2. sorta like we should hope the teachers unions won’t push their agenda on seniority-based pay raises, masters degree pay raises, LIFO protections, etc. etc…. which are OH SO grounded in the research literature =)

  3. Given a choice of the two lobbying groups, I’ll go with the one that lobbies for a living wage, works to keep jobs in the U.S. instead of exporting them and does not lobby against regulations on carbon emissions.

  4. excellent job addressing my points — sign this boy up for the oxford debating union

  5. What point did you want me to address?

    I am still wondering why we should not be skeptical of an organization that is bent on rolling back banking regulations and environmental protection laws.

    The USCC is the epitome of corporate greed. Their own mission statement says, “The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business organization representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses…”

    They make no pretense about having any desire to improve education. Unless of course you can turn education into a business as Bellweather seems to be facilitating.

    It would be great to see anyone from bellweather education partners (who now work for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and sponsor this site) write any kind of endorsement on the USCC’s behalf.

    I will accept silence to mean that you are having a difficult time sleeping after selling your soul to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

  6. “The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.”

    “They make no pretense about having any desire to improve education.” And the reason is Neo, that they know the system is working just fine. The educational system of public schools is merely a pawn to take in a high-stakes game of capitalist chess in which the one with the most conglomerates wins.

  7. neo and jeff miller:

    made those summer vacation plans to visit area 51 yet? conspiracy theories are fun!

    points worth addressing, neo? how about the very clear analogy between the point you made about the chamber having interest-based positions that don’t jive with the research (global warming) and the teachers unions having interest-based positions they lobby for that don’t jive with the research.

    spell it out for ya enough?

  8. Spell it out enough? No, not really. You appear to have a malfunction. What is this research of which you speak?

  9. sorta like we should hope the teachers unions won’t push their agenda on seniority-based pay raises, masters degree pay raises, LIFO protections, etc. etc…. which are OH SO grounded in the research literature =)

    Well, those elements are in effect in Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland and Fairfax County PS in Virginia and they have been and continue to do a much better job than the District of Columbia Public Schools in educating all students. DCPS is using methods desired by the chamber of commerce.

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