The purpose of this paper is to focus on the issue of professional development education for school board members. The research question that guides this mixed study is: does school board member professional development have an effect on student achievement?
The standardized protocol for this study was to send a developed questionnaire to 50 directors of state school board associations. An inductive analysis was made of the state school board directors' responses on whether they felt professional development had a positive effect on student achievement. Their responses were then compared with Education Week's 2009 rating of state education systems.
From the response from the 26 responding state directors, the study found that most states do not require professional development for school board members. State board directors did feel that school board professional development had a positive effect on student achievement. Of the states that did require school board professional development, they received an overall rating of B or C according to the Education Week 2009 rating, while those states that did not require professional development received a rating of C or D.
Mixed research such as this adds to the conversation of the need for required school board professional development but the findings need to be re‐analyzed with all 50 states responding.
The practical implications are profound in that it is desired that children should succeed and learn in quality schools. School board members' lack of education (i.e. they only require high‐school diploma or GED) has an effect on student achievement. School board members need to take required professional development in all areas of public schooling so that quality decisions can be made for children's education.
The social implications are that school board member professional development sends a message to students that continued adult learning is necessary in all walks of life for the USA to continue its leadership in the world.
School board members with the barest qualifications are elected to, in essence, run public schools. Little research has been done about the effects of school board member education on student achievement. This paper explores the voices of state directors in relation to professional development for school board members in US public school discourse and fills some of the gaps in the research.
Roberts, K.L. and Sampson, P.M. (2011), "School board member professional development and effects on student achievement", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 25 No. 7, pp. 701-713. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513541111172108
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