The school board and superintendent who trust each other to fulfill their respective roles and functions, and work well together in continuous improvement, lead districts that enjoy higher levels of SA. The work of continuous improvement cannot be done by the board or superintendent alone. It is the strength of the board and superintendent alliance that ultimately defines the success of the district. Where this gets tricky is the alliance - what does it really look like? OSBA consultants are often asked that question.

In terms of accountability and monitoring progress, each role (board member and superintendent) is assigned similar but different responsibilities.  It takes both the superintendent and board to carry out their functions with fidelity to monitor progress and improve student achievement and student learning opportunities. In the most simple terms, the school board establishes goals and plans and the superintendent implements them.

In this establishing and implementing role, the BOE asks the conceptual questions of what, why, and how much?  And the superintendent will always conduct and supervise the details of the work answering the questions of how, when, where, and by whom? The focus of board member work is that of mission, vision, goals, policies, strategic plans, assurances, and standards while superintendents focus on strategies, procedures, regulations, assignments, and documentation. 

What components of monitoring progress is your board doing well? Do you need more resources? Check out the Accountability web page on the Advancing Student Achievement website.

Posted by Kim Miller-Smith on 2/25/2021