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How Not to Be a Terrible School Board Member

How Not to Be a Terrible School Board Member
Lessons for School Administrators and Board Members

September 2011 | 160 pages | Corwin
How to Not Be a Terrible School Board Member is a practical guide both for how to become an effective school board member, and for how school administrators can improve their board relations. The intended audience is prospective, present, and past school board members and school administrators.While the overwhelming majority of school board members have good motives, even people with good motives can make bad moves, even terrible moves. This book is dedicated to preventing situations in which good intentions can lead to bad outcomes. The book takes a case based approach that focuses on terrible school board member moves as the fastest and most memorable way to help one learn how to be an effective school board member ,and to see, by contrast, how a successful school board member operates. Case-based learning is used in many professional programs such as business, law, medicine, and even teacher education, and research on learning by example has a strong and growing empirical research base.
About the Author
I. Terrible District teamwork
1. Humiliate a District Employee in Public
2. Negotiate in Public
3. Attack the Administration in Print
4. Micromanage the Superintendent
5. Never Question the Administration
6. Solicit Complaints from Teachers and Staff
7. Ask for Special Treatment
II. Terrible Board Teamwork
8. Disrespect a Fellow Board Member
9. Speak for the Board
10. Build Coalitions
11. Abstain on Tough Votes
12. Be Decisive, Don't Compromise
13. Come Unprepared to a Board Meeting
14. Do Too Much Homework
III. Terrible Public Relations
15. Represent Your Supporters
16. Minimize Public Input
17. Run Your Own District Survey
18. Argue with a Hostile Speaker
19. Confide in a Reporter
20. Garner Public Support
21. Sign a Petition
IV. Terrible Personal Style
22. Ignore Minor Conflicts of Interest
23. Take Political Stands
24. Use the District's Credit Card
25. Remember Your Political Party
26. Do a Favor
27. Accept Gifts
28. Radiate Negative Energy

“The author presents powerful vignettes that successfully describe the range of behaviors, decision making, language, thinking, and actions that often consciously and unconsciously undermine the superintendent, other school officials and employees, but worst of all other board members and the important work of the board members."

Douglas Gordon Hesbol, Superintendent
Laraway CCSD 70C, Joliet, IL

“All board members volunteer to serve because they want to be effective in providing students the best education the school district can provide. Richard Mayer addresses the broad range of mistakes he has seen made by board members during his years as a board member. This is a useful resource that board members and superintendents can use to ensure the successful governance of their school districts.”

Glen Ishiwata, Superintendent
Moreland School District, San Jose, CA

“I know of no other book that addresses this particular issue at this level of specificity and breadth. District and school administrators, as well as board members, will see it as useful.”

Robert Marzano, CEO
Marzano Research Laboratory, Englewood, CO

“I think the approach is brilliant. It’s a grabber that every insightful board member or administrator can identify with.”

Rene Townsend, Former Superintendent
Encinitas, CA

“Mayer writes in an authentic and respectful manner that provides the reader with a clear understanding of what it means to be an effective board member. This is a must-read for anyone who is a current board member, aspiring to become one, or an administrator who wants to develop solid professional relationships with their board members.”

Bonnie Tryon, Past President
School Administrators Association of New York, Cobleskill, NY

"This is the perfect book for board members and superintendents who already have busy lives but want to make sensible, reasoned choices in their work in today’s schools.”

Cindy Wilson, Associate Professor and Department Chair
University of Illinois, Springfield, IL

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ISBN: 9781412997935

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