Few board members ask to review student achievement data, and those who do are not confident that they know how to use it. There is a perception that other members do not want to see the data, either because they do not understand it or because they are “in denial” about what it says.What is the Board concerned with? Again, from the Needs Assessment:
The Camden City Board of Education and administrative leadership in Camden face a number of formidable governance challenges. At the core of these challenges is a deep lack of trust and respect among board members and, more significantly, between the board and the administration. This problem has been ongoing for so long that no one seems to recall how it began. Whatever the cause, the result is that over time the board has grown extremely suspicious of the administration and does not trust the administration to keep it well informed.
In response, the board at times has resorted to subverting the chain of command and otherwise publicly undermining the administration. This approach has proven ineffective in holding the administration accountable and has prevented the board from accomplishing meaningful change. Instead, the Board has become mired in the day-to-day operations of the district at the expense of developing strategies to address systemic challenges and to hold administrators accountable for results.Approving Urban Hope Act schools requires a consensus among Board members that kids’ needs come before political considerations and adult concerns. This Board's not there yet. In fairness, the Board's leadership has been stymied by too many years of an incompetent superintendent (Bessie LaFra Young); ironically, the only solution to that dysfunction was action by the Board itself, which is responsible for supervising and evaluating superintendents. Talk about Catch--22's. (The current interim, Reuben Mills, seems like a big improvement.
Labels: charter schools, school boards