Appointed vs. elected boards

Published 1:32 pm Tuesday, November 1, 2016


“There is no definitive literature on whether elected or appointed school boards are more effective in improving student achievement.” It is important for voters in Prince Edward County to be aware of this because the future of our children rests upon the decision we make Tuesday, Nov. 8. So, what I am offering are some things to consider — things that each of us should reflect upon as we decide this question.

Those in favor of appointed school boards argue this method offers a larger group of qualified candidates from which to select members and ensures a closer working relationship between school board and local government. Those who favor an elected board suggest this approach yields members who are more responsive to the community concerns to which they are primarily responsible.

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In that there is no proof one method is superior to the other, we have to make a decision based upon what is best for PECPS. Which method of school board membership selection gives parents more input into the education of their children? Which is more likely to place emphasis on the needs of the children’s education versus local government’s fiscal priorities and which is more likely to yield a board more ethnically balanced and representative of our community?

These are but a few of the questions we may want to ask ourselves before we mark our ballots on Nov. 8.

Qadir Abdus-Sabur, Ph.D.

Green Bay