Right School Board, Right Superintendent, and the Right Time

The  more I work to support School Board-Superintendent teams and their work in accelerating achievement in their school districts,  the more I am convinced of the Right Board, Right Superintendent, Right Time idea.

In working with the Oregon, IL (CUSD 220) School Board-Superintendent team on this past Saturday, I was reminded of how well the work can go in the governing and operating of a school system.  (See the picture below from their Saturday workshop.)

John Carver, Don McAdams, Tim Quinn, Council of Great City Schools, and others contributing to the work of school board and superintendent teams offer a great deal of “curriculum”and good advice on the matters. Our Firm’s field work has validated much of this, and the Right Board, Right Superintendent, Right Time idea plays out through the following success factors:

1.  The Superintendent must know how to and be willing to quarterback the boards policies and governing direction.

2.  The Board must know how to set direction, policy, and then allow the superintendent to fully “operate” the district.  Carver’s work established this in his policy governance methodology.

3.  The superintendent must know how to and be willing to modulate from quarterback to the role of head coach for the district.  McAdams work illustrated this best with the line drawn between governance and management.

4.  Their must be hunger and a sense of hope among the school district’s community and constituents to create the Right Time portion of the big idea.  Board-Superintendent teams can go far in motivating the hunger and hope within a community.

Experiencing the Oregon, IL school board-superintendent team work was quite inspiring.  Their work was low in ego, high in motivation,  strong in conviction, and well-led by school board president Ed Smith and superintendent Tom Mahoney.  Congratulations!  We will watch this district go far in their work for kids, educators, and families.

What other factors would you add to this list of success factors?

Have a great week.


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