Question, "What do you think the job of a Board of Education member is?" Please address the following:
1. What power does the position convey?
2. What is the best use of that power?
3. To whom is the Board of Education member responsible?
The power of the position is given and defined by the Maryland General Assembly. While no board member has individual power per se - the power conveyed to the Board, as a whole, is vast and wide reaching. The Board, within the bounds of law has total and complete authority over the public education system in Howard County. The school system (i.e. the Superintendent and all staff that report to her) are completely and totally subordinate to the Board.
The best use of that power is for elected board members to take actions that they believe that are in the best interest of the students and citizens of Howard County. It would be impossible to run the board by poll but board members should actively seek out what citizen opinion is on educational matters they deal with.
The Board is ultimately responsible to the citizens of Howard County. The citizens elect them, and citizens are the ones who have the power to hold them accountable through the election process.
I believe that once a board a member is elected, their responsibility is to convince their fellow board members to form consensus to act on what they believe is in the best interest of the citizens and students of Howard County. Board members should not be reactive and constantly wait for staff recommendations – they should be more proactive in using their power, especially if decisions are being made at the staff level are inconsistent with the best interest of the county.
April 28, 2014 10:06 pm