Ineffective School Boards

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Pages: 11

Introduction There have been extensive writings on effective and ineffective school boards, with a vast majority of these writings “normative and opinion-based rather than grounded in empirical research” (Feuerstein, 2009, p. 7). For school boards to positively impact student achievement they must unify around efforts to improve the school district (Mizell, 2010). School district governance then centers on group performance as a district organization with attention on student achievement, budget and fiscal management, facilities and district leadership. The research suggests that for school boards to be effective, school board members must demonstrate professionalism and be knowledgeable enough to make informed policy decisions regarding …show more content…
Establishing defined roles for school boards from the beginning assists in the decision-making process. It is standard for the school board to oversee the development and implementation of local policy while the superintendent administers the systems of the board policy, with a degree of influence, in making and adopting the regulations (Moody, 2011). Forbes and Milliken (1998) state, “effectiveness of boards, is likely to depend heavily on social–psychological processes, particularly those about group participation and interaction, the exchange of information, and critical discussion” (p. 492). From this perspective, barriers that interfere with constructive group interactions impede the board’s ability to establish effective policies and make adjustments in response to environmental changes, in turn potentially harming organizational outcomes (Grissom, 2012). Conflict within the group creates disruptions in information processing and strategic decision-making that translates into less efficient policy outputs. Research on the impact of organizational outcomes is scarce with no research on members of the board and how their lived experiences, race, and region they represent, shape and influence their decision-making. Analysis of the characteristics of the school board decision-making process is necessary to determine whether school board …show more content…
Question 2: Are school board members cognizant of factors that influence their decision making?
Question 3: How do the lived experiences influence school board members’ governance?
Methodology Overview
The purpose of this research study will examine the decision-making process of a school board in Texas and determine if the members of that school board are cognizant of internal and external factors that influence their decisions. A case study method and qualitative research approach are appropriate to seek an “object of study, as well as a product of the inquiry” (Creswell, 2013, p. 97); this approach will be utilized to investigate the decision-making process of school board members. Maxwell (2005) contends that qualitative methods are effective when a researcher seeks to understand the process by which events and actions occur. Maxwell states the strengths of qualitative research allows the researcher to identify process rather than outcomes as it focuses on situations and people, emphasizing words and not numbers (Maxwell J., 2005). In this process, the qualitative approach in the case study seeks an “understanding of the complex interrelationships among all that exists” (Stake, p. 37). A case study is an appropriate methodology for this research because it contains the four characteristics of a case study as specified by Gall, Gall, and Borg (2005): study of a phenomenon by focusing