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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Motivations of School Board Members in an Era of Accountability-Based Reform
by Pearson, John S., Ed.D., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2014, 115; 3621563
Abstract (Summary)

Research has shown a disconnect between the behaviors of some school boards and the behaviors identified in the literature as critical in this era of accountability reform. The literature has specified best practices for effective school board governance behaviors in this accountability era and its accompanying emphasis of college and career readiness. These best practices are primarily focused on the traditional governance roles for school boards and include: Policy-making, goal-setting, planning, establishing the focus of curriculum, prioritizing resources, achievement data review, and holding administrators accountable - all aimed at improving student achievement (Danzberger, Kirst & Usdan, 1992; Iowa Association of School Boards, 2001). These best practices are particularly aimed at producing students who can meet the goals of college and career preparedness (2001). However, some board members report role confusion, with some exhibiting behaviors that might be considered micro-managing and parochial and along the lines of board members' personal or special interests (Danzberger, Kirst, & Usdan, 1992; Mountford & Brunner, 1999; Mountford, 2004; Kwalwasser, 2012). The study of individual school board members' motivations for board service has been found to give promising insight into school board governance practices (Mountford, 2004; Mountford & Brunner, 1999).

This phenomenological study was conducted using qualitative methods. Eleven individual school board members from three Midwestern school boards were each interviewed, as well as two of those three district's superintendents. The interviews were designed to discover their motivations for school board service and to identify specific behaviors, in order to help inform governance practices of school boards in this accountability era.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Puchner, Laurel
Commitee: Buckley, Phillip, Hunt, John
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: Curriculum and Instruction
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 75/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, School administration
Keywords: Accountability era, Behaviors, Board member, Globalization, Motivations
Publication Number: 3621563
ISBN: 978-1-303-92751-5
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