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November 02, 2009
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW) examines school boards in 13 cities to see how the business community has played a role in school governance. The cities profiled were Atlanta, Austin, Bismarck, ND, Denver, Detroit, Duval County, FL, Laramie, WY, Long Beach, CA, Los Angeles, Newark, NJ, Pittsburgh, Seattle and Fordham’s hometown of Dayton, Ohio.
School boards impact education big time. They are involved in everything from setting policies on teacher evaluation systems, to hiring district leadership, to negotiating collective bargaining agreements.
The Chamber report analyzed the challenges and successes of school boards in cities with challenging social, political and fiscal issues. The authors studied cities that are in various stages of growth, or in some cases, decline.
Dayton, the only Ohio city profiled, is as a city with a declining population. The report described the Dayton Public School board as in various stages of disarray. Fordham’s own Terry Ryan was quoted as questioning whether Dayton Public Schools’ board can effectively govern a school district in a city that faces profound challenges, including poverty, diminishing financial resources, a weakened business community, and a collapsed housing infrastructure. “I think it’s fair to ask, Can any elected school board deal with the challenges of a place like Dayton?”
School Board Case Studies
U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Institute for a Competitive Workforce