There is no question about it. One of Eduflack’s greatest professional honors was representing the families of Falls Church, VA on its school board. As chairman and vice chair of the board during my tenure, I am enormously proud of what we were able to, particularly in navigating difficult budgetary times by doing our best to keep cuts from impacting the classroom.
We were also able to lead a major effort to expand our facilities, securing a federal bond to expand our upper elementary school. And we were able to focus in a smart way on teacher evaluation and the other policy changes that were affecting our small school district.
But anyone who has served on a local school board knows it is a relatively thankless job. It is a lot of work, and a lot of hours. One does it because of service to the community and belief in the public schools. If that isn’t your motivation, you have no business serving on a school board.
So I was a little tickled to see the latest from Ballotpedia. The site now offers a new portal that is watching school board elections in the largest 1,000 school districts across the country.
Every now and then, we hear about school board races (think to the recent Los Angeles campaigns). But such efforts are often overlooked, as these municipal elections are so far down the ballot that most don’t pay attention to them.
Readers of Eduflack don’t need me telling them how important local decisionmakers are, particularly as we are focusing on CCSS, CCSS assessments, NCLB waivers, NCLB waiver waivers, t-val, and all of the other policy issues hitting our school districts. So Ballotpedia’s initiative is a welcome addition to the discussion, hopefully offering some additional insight into these races and the issues and individuals at the center of them.
Happy doorknocking and neighborhood coffees to those included in the portal Ah, the good ol’ days ….