Having observed elections to boards of education in the Oswego area for about 58 years, I have come to the conclusion that the election of “good” persons to boards is one of the most important decisions made by the voting public.
The quality of board members is a key issue in public education today.
The future success of our student population depends on who is making the policy decisions and what kinds of decisions are reached – hopefully good ones that can result in improvements!
What qualities should a board member have?
My opinion, based on my years of experience in education, suggest the following:
- An interest in schools and a willingness to learn about education.
- The time to devote to the position, including being informed about local schools, problems, and solutions.
- An orientation where in policy making is separate from the administrative process.
- Computer knowledge and the ability to understand school district business procedures.
- Having children or grandchildren attending the local school district.
- A broad educational background. (former educators do not always make good board members).
- A positive attitude with “no axe to grind.”
At this time, the public should examine the news releases issued and determine who are the best prospective board members.
Glenn W. Clark
(Glenn Clark, a resident of Bishop’s Commons of Oswego served as superintendent of schools in several Central New York schools, including the Fulton City School District. He continues his interest in educating children. He conducted an experimental project during the summer of 2011 on the St. Luke campus to promote writing by pre-school children.)