Here is the response from Sandra French, a current member of the board:
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 Annotated Code of Maryland assigns power to the entire Board as a corporate body when a quorum acts in a legally constituted meeting. Individual Board members have no authority other than the powers of presence, persuasion, relationship- building and collaboration to effect change. Legally, the Superintendent manages the day to day operations of the system, and serves as public advisor to the Board. The Board governs by adopting policies and goals for the future direction of the system, and then evaluates the Superintendent’s performance in meeting them. It adopts a budget that reflects both legal requirements and community preferences. More details on responsibilities can be found in the Board of Education’s Handbook, adopted 11/18/10, which is a public document.
Individual networking and respectful collaboration are positive ways to convince a majority of the Board to vote a certain way. Each board member has unique skills and expertise as a layperson. Sharing that knowledge, and asking the right questions to ensure equity and alignment of practices with vision and goals, strengthens the Board and assists in sending a clear message to the Superintendent and staff. While the Board formally evaluates the Superintendent once a year, feedback and advice are shared frequently on an informal basis.
We have a sacred trust with the community, that we will provide a rigorous and enriching education so that the student will be college and career ready upon graduation. We are forever responsible for listening to students, community members, parents, teachers and the Superintendent; and then for seeking common ground since we are also required to comply with all laws. My decisions are based upon what would be best for the students in the classroom.
April 18, 2014 1:12 pm