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View Diary: Eric Cantor's hot new rebranded education agenda: Vouchers, charters and for-profit colleges (57 comments)

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  •  There is a steep learning curve (2+ / 0-)
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    pacplate, antirove

    (I am a school board trustee.)

    My experience is that it wasn't until I had two years under my belt that I had a good grasp of the arcane and the various issues in play in my very small school district. (The whole district is probably about the size of an urban charter school.) Learning to decipher budgets, to figure out what you don't know that needs to be poked at, to have the confidence and standing with the school staff to be able to ask really thoughtful and constructive questions, it takes time.

    I would also say that having a child in the school isn't the end-all be-all. I am lucky to serve with a group of trustees that really cares about all kids and their education. I have served with trustees who are former employees, who have kids currently in school, whose kids have graduated, and with trustees who never had any connection to our particular schools before joining the board. What matters is that they listen; that they care about all kids; that they are thoughtful about what they say and how they comport themselves.

    In fact, having a child in the school creates the occasional complication. There's nothing quite so delicate as having to have a discussion with a teacher who knows me only as a board member, especially if I have a concern like 'too much homework' or the like.

    Public schools belong to the community, not just to the parents. The parents are transient ... unless they have a whole passel of kids stepping through. :-)

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 04:14:09 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  In Colorado, we term limit school boards (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling

      Every eight years you have to relearn. My wife's board had 100% turn over one election.

      Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it - Samuel Clemens

      by tjlord on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 07:40:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't see the point of term limits (0+ / 0-)

        People naturally come and go as their kids get older and their interest moves on. In our case, the board position is volunteer... Occasionally I get a piece of cake or something.

        Our board has staggered elections so you wouldn't expect to have more than 3 new board members.

        As a practical matter, just finding 5 good people who are interested in the job is a challenge - we usually go out recruiting when there's an opening. I ran unopposed for my seat.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 09:49:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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