PSBA Code of Conduct for Members of Pennsylvania School Boards andPSBA Standards for Effective School Governance The Education Policy and Leadership Center Capital Breakfast Series January 18, 2006
PSBA Strategic Plan • The association’s strategic planning work set the stage for the Effective School Governance initiative • Surveys and focus groups solicited input from the membership to develop PSBA’s strategic plan
PSBA Strategic Plan • Ethical leadership emerged as a key issue of interest among Pennsylvania school directors
PSBA’s New Mission Statement “The mission of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association is to promote excellence in school board governance through leadership, service, and advocacy for public education.”
Goal #3 of the Strategic Plan “Support the role of school board members as effective, ethical leaders.”
Specific objectives and action plans under this goal include: • Promote ethical school governance and leadership • Revise PSBA’s Code of Ethics for school boards
Specific objectives and action plans under this goal include: • Provide information, resources and services to support members in enhancing their effectiveness and promoting their leadership role • Educate the community about the roles and responsibilities of school boards
Specific objectives and action plans under this goal include: • Adopt and promote standards for effective school governance • Promote the value of school board training
The Effective School Governance Commission was formed to address these goals and actions by developing standards and a code of ethics for local school leaders that embody best practices and high expectations.
Commission Members: Lou Ann Evans, Chairperson School Director, State College Area School District PSBA President-Elect Dr. Jeffrey Miller Superintendent, Methacton School District 2005 PASA President Amy Swartz Business Administrator, Pequea Valley School District 2005 PASBO President Roberta Marcus School Director, Parkland School District
Commission Members: William H. Isler Board President, Pittsburgh Public Schools Dr. Wayne Doyle Superintendent, Hempfield Area School District Dr. James A. Ryland Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Shippensburg University Dr. William L. Boyd Distinguished Professor of Education Pennsylvania State University
Commission Members: Constance Lazur Board Secretary, Greater Latrobe School District Maureen Harrigan School Director, Kennett Consolidated School District Carol Ritter President, Pennsylvania PTA Craig W. Bremer Vice President/General Counsel Susquehanna Pfaltzgraff Company
Commission Members: Ex-Officio: Stinson Stroup, Executive Director of PASA Jay Himes, Executive Director of PASBO Michael McCarthy, Executive Director of the PA Business Roundtable Staff Support: Thomas J. Gentzel, PSBA Executive Director J. Curtis Rose, PSBA Assistant Executive Director for School Board & Management Services
Research Process • PSBA staff group began its work in October 2004 • Staff conducted an extensive review of literature on the topic of school governance and leadership • Compiled and sent research material to Commission members
Activities of the Commission • Received resource materials to review • Attended meetings at the PSBA headquarters • Networked via e-mail • Participated in region meeting focus groups • Reviewed input solicited from PSBA membership
Activities of the Commission • Reached consensus and finalized the language of the Standards for Effective School Governance • Reached consensus and finalized wording for the PSBA Code of Conduct for Members of Pennsylvania School Boards
Adoption • Report from the Commission presented to the Executive Board for discussion and revision at the July Executive Board Meeting • Discussed extensively at the August Executive Board Retreat • Adopted at the September Executive Board Meeting
PSBA Code of Conduct for Members of Pennsylvania School Boards Preamble We, as members of our local board of education, representing all the residents of our school district believe that: • Striving toward ideal conditions for effective school board service to our community, in a spirit of teamwork and devotion to public education, is the greatest instrument for preserving and perpetuating our representative democracy.
PSBA Code of Conduct for Members of Pennsylvania School Boards • The future welfare of this community, commonwealth and nation depends upon the quality of education we provide in public schools. • In order to maintain a free and strong country, our civic obligation to the community, commonwealth and nation is to maintain free and strong public schools in the United States of America, without surrendering our responsibilities to any other person, group or organization.
PSBA Code of Conduct for Members of Pennsylvania School Boards • Boards of school directors share responsibility for ensuring a “thorough and efficient system of public education” as required by the Pennsylvania Constitution. • Our fellow residents have entrusted us with the advocacy for and stewardship of the education of the youth of this community.
PSBA Code of Conduct for Members of Pennsylvania School Boards • The public expects that our first and greatest priority is to provide equitable educational opportunities for all youth.
PSBA Code of Conduct for Members of Pennsylvania Schools Boards Accordingly, • The community should be provided with information about its schools and be engaged by the board and staff to encourage input and support for the school system.
PSBA Code of Conduct for Members of Pennsylvania School Boards • Devoting time, thought and study to our duties and responsibilities as school board members is critical for rendering effective and credible service. • Board members should work together in a spirit of harmony, respect and cooperation, despite differences of opinion.
PSBA Code of Conduct for Members of Pennsylvania School Boards • Personal decisions should be based upon all sufficient facts, we should vote our honest conviction without partisan bias, and we will abide by and uphold the majority decision of the board. • Individuals have no legal authority outside the meetings of the board, and should conduct their relationships with all stakeholders and media on this basis.
PSBA Code of Conduct for Members of Pennsylvania School Boards • We will not use our positions as school directors to benefit ourselves or any individual or agency. • School boards must balance their responsibility to provide educational programs with the need to be effective stewards of public resources.
PSBA Code of Conduct for Members of Pennsylvania School Boards • We should recognize that the primary responsibility of the board is to adopt policies by which the schools are to be administered. • We should respect that the superintendent of schools and his or her staff are responsible and accountable for the delivery of the educational programs and the conduct of school operations.
PSBA Code of Conduct for Members of Pennsylvania School Boards • Communication with all stakeholders and the media should be conducted in accordance with board policy.
This Code of Conduct has timeless core principles that give us best practices and norms for effective and ethical leadership. It is also a personal belief system, as well as for the entire board, to commit to and practice.
PSBA Standards for Effective School Governance To promote student growth and achievement, an effective school board: • Advocates for a thorough and efficient system of public education. • Models responsible governance and leadership.
PSBA Standards for Effective School Governance • Governs through policy. • Ensures that effective planning occurs. • Monitors results. • Communicates with and engages the community
PSBA Standards for Effective School Governance To promote student growth and achievement, an effective school board… • Advocates for a thorough and efficient system of public education by: • Promoting public education as a keystone of democracy.
PSBA Standards for Effective School Governance • Engaging and promoting community support by seeking input, building support networks and generating action. • Allocating resources in a manner designed to facilitate student achievement, consistent with school district goals and plans.
PSBA Standards for Effective School Governance • Maintaining legislative awareness and communicating with members of local, state and federal legislative bodies. • Ensuring strong management of the school system by hiring, setting goals with and evaluating the superintendent. • Employing qualified staff to meet student program needs.
PSBA Standards for Effective School Governance • Models responsible governance and leadership by: • Staying current with changing needs and requirements by reviewing educational literature, attending professional development opportunities prior to board service and continuously during board service, and preparing to make informed decisions.
PSBA Standards for Effective School Governance • Interacting with school officials in other districts and using resources provided by organizations and agencies committed to effective governance and management of public schools. • Leading with respect and taking full responsibility for board activity and behavior.
PSBA Standards for Effective School Governance • Adopting and acting in accordance with the PSBA Code of Conduct for Members of Pennsylvania School Boards. • Engaging all community stakeholders.
PSBA Standards for Effective School Governance • Complying with board policy and all applicable local, state and federal laws and regulations. • Operating as a collective board in making decisions. • Participating in annual board retreats.
PSBA Standards for Effective School Governance • Governs through policy by: • Seeking input from stakeholders and following an established procedure for consideration. • Regularly reviewing and, as necessary, revising and adopting board policy.
PSBA Standards for Effective School Governance • Delegating to the superintendent responsibility for implementation of board policy. • Ensuring public access to adopted board policy. • Purposefully linking its actions to applicable board policies.
PSBA Standards for Effective School Governance • Ensures that effective planning occurs by: • Adopting and implementing a collaborative strategic planning process, including regular reviews. • Setting annual goals that are aligned with the strategic plan.
PSBA Standards for Effective School Governance • Linking board actions to the strategic plan. • Adopting a financial plan that considers short-term and long-term needs. • Adopting professional development plans for board and staff.
PSBA Standards for Effective School Governance • Adopting a plan to ensure evaluation of student growth and achievement using relevant data. • Adopting a master facilities plan conducive to teaching and learning. • Adopting a plan for curriculum review and development.
PSBA Standards for Effective School Governance • Monitors results by: • Using data appropriately to make informed decisions. • Ensuring effective practices for evaluation of staff, programs, plans and services.
PSBA Standards for Effective School Governance • Evaluating its own performance. • Assessing student growth and achievement. • Evaluating the effectiveness of the strategic plan.
PSBA Standards for Effective School Governance • Communicates with and engages the community by: • Distributing relevant information about the district. • Providing methods of communication to the board and appropriate staff.
PSBA Standards for Effective School Governance • Seeking input through a variety of methods. • Including stakeholders in all communications.