Improving School Board Effectiveness

Improving School Board Effectiveness A Balanced Governance Approach

Edited by Thomas L. Alsbury and Phil Gore, foreword by Willard R. Daggett
paper, 216 Pages
Pub. Date: September 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-876-4
Price: $32.00

Add to Cart

Pub. Date: September 2015
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-878-8

Add to Cart

Improving School Board Effectiveness offers a clarifying and essential look at the evolving role of school boards and how they contribute to efforts to improve student learning. It examines how board members can establish effective district priorities, and it explores those board policies and actions that result in shared, districtwide commitments to heightened student achievement.


A must-read for anyone interested in the complex challenges school boards face, especially regarding the question of how board members can contribute to the central goal of improving student outcomes. — From the foreword by Willard R. Daggett, founder and chairman, International Center for Leadership in Education

Alsbury and Gore have done an outstanding job of pulling together research that highlights how school boards matter. Their book provides practical examples for improving school governance at the local level. Improving School Board Effectiveness is an essential read for school board members, superintendents, and those working to improve public education governance. — James B. Crow, executive director, Texas Association of School Boards

Improving School Board Effectiveness is a valuable book for superintendents as well as school boards. It explores the crucial relationship between school boards and superintendents, indicating ways to build a trusting, mutually accountable partnership to advance student achievement. — Bert L’Homme, superintendent, Durham Public Schools, North Carolina

The text throughout is enhanced by useful graphics for understanding the balanced governance approach, as well as numerous assessment tools for measuring board effectiveness and goal-setting. — David Sciarretta, School Administrator

Improving School Board Effectiveness shines a light on the importance of paying attention to how school districts govern and makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the governance process. — Robert G. Smith, Teachers College Record

More Less

About the Editors

Thomas L. Alsbury is professor of educational leadership at Seattle Pacific University, and former school teacher, principal, and administrator. He also served as professor at Iowa State University and North Carolina State University. He currently co-directs the national University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) Center for Research on the Superintendency and District Governance. Alsbury completed an M.Ed. in educational curriculum and instruction from the University of Washington and an Ed.D. in educational leadership and counseling psychology from Washington State University. Alsbury is listed as the foremost expert on school governance by the Associated Press; he has consulted on school governance issues in twelve countries and across the United States and is a frequent keynote speaker and presenter at school board state and national conferences and state association events. He has worked with local urban and rural school boards to evaluate and assist in improving performance. He has over fifty publications on school board and superintendent research. His 2008 book, The Future of School Board Governance: Relevance and Revelation, earned Dr. Alsbury the UCEA Culbertson Award for significant contributions to educational leadership research. Alsbury is also founder and president of Balanced Governance Solutions (, an organization committed to the research, development, and training in effective school board governance.

Phil Gore, a former Seattle-area school board member, is the division director for leadership team services with the Texas Association of School Boards. He has worked with the National School Boards Association and was the Director of Leadership Development Services for the Washington School Directors’ Association. During his time in Washington, Phil led a statewide initiative to develop multiple validated approaches and tools for superintendent evaluation in the state. Prior to working in school governance, Phil was a pastor and youth minister for twenty years. Phil is completing a PhD this year at the University of Washington in educational leadership and policy studies. His doctoral research focuses on the factors and sources of information that school boards consider when evaluating a superintendent. Phil has an M.Ed. in educational leadership and policy studies and a BA in management. When he is not assisting school boards and superintendents, Phil enjoys mountain climbing, kayaking, and long-distance running with his wife and children. Phil can be reached at

Table of Contents

Foreword by Willard R. Daggett

E-book available through online booksellers

Other books in District-Based Reform

Districts That Succeed

Karin Chenoweth

Other books in District-Based Reform

Achieving Coherence in District Improvement

Susan Moore Johnson, Geoff Marietta, Monica C. Higgins, Karen L. Mapp, and Allen Grossman

Other books in District-Based Reform

The Redesign of Urban School Systems

Edited by Donald R. McAdams and Dan Katzir

Books From This Author