S4 E6: Public Education is in Crisis. Are Elected School Boards the Problem?
Top of Mind with Julie Rose - Season 4, Episode 6
- Sep 25, 2023 12:00 pm
- 52:50 mins
Ninety percent of America's kids go to public schools. But public education in America is in crisis, with test scores in every subject at their lowest point in decades. State and federal regulations have a say in what happens in schools, but most critical decisions are left to local school boards. Are elected school boards the root of the problem - or the key to a solution? Funding, facilities, busing, discipline policies, how teachers are placed in the district, and which curricula they use - all overseen by some 15,000 school boards chosen through local elections. But board members generally aren't required to have specific educational expertise - or even kids in the public school system. We are committed to democracy in this country and generally assume that electing people to make important decisions is best. How well is that working out for us when it comes to education? In this podcast episode we speak with a parent who helped recall school board members in San Francisco. We hear what it’s like to be a school board member right now and how the pandemic changed the job. And we’ll consider how the US system of selecting school boards during off-cycle elections often fails to hold boards accountable for student outcomes. Podcast Guests: Meredith Dodson, Executive Director of the San Francisco Parent Coalition Carrie Douglass, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of School Board Partners and School Board Member in Bend-La Pine, Oregon Ethan Ashley, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of School Board Partners and School Board Member on the Orleans Parish School Board, New Orleans Vladimir Kogan, professor of political science and public affairs at Ohio State University and author of the upcoming book No Adult Left Behind **This episode is part of Season 4 on Top of Mind: Assessing Assumptions. Could the systems we've built to keep our communities safe and thriving work better if we weren't so set in our ways?