Who Runs Your School District?

This is a trick question, so don’t be shocked if the answer eludes you. This Columbus Dispatch article describes how the access to information is controlled by the administrators. Board members are then left on the outside looking in if this is the case, and that leaves the community and staff out of the loop. So, what is the answer?

It’s not that complicated, but initially thoughts are one of those two. The discussions at board meetings typically stay between the two connected parties, so it makes the most sense. The administration (Superintendent, Treasurer and other administrators) and the School Board members. One would think that the Board runs the show, while the Superintendent implements the plan they approve. Or is it the other way around? The School Board listens to the Superintendent’s plans, and works to implement the plan through approving the motions and personnel decisions dictated by the Superintendent. Not so sure?

The state and federal governments also controls your district from afar. The regulations like No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top are well-meaning programs that legislators feel will improve our education system. NCLB has been widely panned by educators and legislators alike, and Race to the Top appears to pit states against each other to cede as much control to the federal government as they are willing to give. Very similar to the Affordable Care Act  (Obamacare), the states can get a large grant (like the Medicaid dollars) as long as they follow the federal guidelines and fund anything that the grant does not. Look at the following series of articles in regards to this RTTT grant in Missouri. It shows again the answer to the question is more or less left out of the equation, as an afterthought in the creation of these laws and initiatives.

http://www.missourirecord.com/news/index.asp?article=10102

http://www.missourirecord.com/news/index.asp?article=10120

If you feel powerless to change your child’s education outlook, do you think that may be by design? Perhaps it’s you that controls the school district, but it is something no one has realized yet.

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