Boards can be tricky. They can sometimes be too involved in day-to-day operations and sometimes lackadasical. Members can work together even when they disagree; they can be adversarial even when they agree. Board members can be self-seving sometimes and concerned about their "customers" at others. They can be supportive of the organization's leadership at times and detremental at others. They can be efficient or wasteful. They can be functional or disfunctional.
Most importantly, they can lose focus.
A friend recently shared an article in Education Week, "School Boards Must Narrow Their Focus". The writer says many board members feel they're running on hamster wheels, instead of focusing on matters that can have a positive high impact. Imagine, she writes, what would happen if "board members and superintendents could work together to dispense with unnecessary activity and instead spent an entire year focused on one subject?" "What if the team could study an issue deeply, gather expertise and input, explore solutions, and carefully consider policies to address a single concern?", she asks.
Like all Boards, the Williamson County School Board should be asking itself questions like the ones in the articles. Suggestions: What if we spent less time talking about political issues and more time talking what can be done to make the school day more productive and less stressful for our students and Educators? What if we spent less time re-asking questions that have already been answered and more time talking about growth challenges? What if we spent less time arguing amongst ourselves and more time engaging the community? What if just spent less time talking and more time listening?
The article asks, "Instead of spending 80 percent of the board's time on routine matters and 20 percent on important ones, what would happen if school boards flipped those percentages to focus on demands worth their time and attention?"
Williamson County has a strong strategic plan for our schools. We have an excellent team of leaders and employees, starting with our Superintendent. We have parent and community support. Now, what if we add a truly focused Board to the mix? Just imagine what could be done.