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School Boards in America: A Flawed Exercise in Democracy Paperback – November 15, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0230109315 ISBN-10: 0230109314

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (November 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230109314
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230109315
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,732,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“As the nation engages in the critical struggle to improve its schools, the local school board remains a neglected institution. Board members, however, remain critically important. This immensely readable volume by a school board ‘member’ sheds much needed light on both the strengths and weaknesses of this uniquely American institution.”—Jim Hunt, Governor of North Carolina (1977-1985, 1993-2001)

“Maeroff brings light and wisdom to understanding why school boards, a uniquely American institution, are both loved and hated; and what we can do to help them improve the education of our children.”—Christopher T. Cross, former Assistant Secretary for Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education and Chairman, Cross & Joftus, LLC

“A vitally important, cogently written analysis by an extremely knowledgeable author who is currently living his subject as a school board president (an all too rare reality among contemporary education policy ‘experts’).”—Michael D. Usdan, Senior Fellow, The Institute for Educational Leadership

“Gene Maeroff spins the reader through a whirlwind of education-reform debates, from accountability to teacher quality to funding—all through the eyes of the local school board. He provides case-study examples of successful school boards (like that of Denver Public Schools) and those that have been far less so (like that of Clayton County, GA) as well as scores of interesting data points. . . . In the end, though Maeroff acknowledges inherent and systemic flaws in school boards, he offers up reasonably mundane suggestions for righting them—including having appointed and not elected boards, and increasing professional development—leaving us still searching for the most viable governance arrangement for our schools.” –Daniela Fairchild, Associate Editor and Policy Analyst, The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, from The Education Gadfly

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Gene I. Maeroff is Senior Fellow at the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he was the founding director. He is also a former national education correspondent for the New York Times. He is the author of over a dozen books including The Guide to Suburban Public Schools, Team Building for School Change, School Smart Parent, Altered Destinies, and A Classroom of One.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Solomon on January 1, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Too little attention is paid to the responsibility of school boards for the poor performance of public schools. This book fills that gap. It's clearly written and uses interesting stories from around the country to illustrate important points.
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More About the Author

Gene I. Maeroff is a senior fellow at Teachers College, Columbia University. He was previously a senior fellow with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Earlier, he spent 16 years on the staff of the New York Times, where he was national education correspondent. He is also president of the board of education in Edison, N.J., serving the state's fifth-largest school district. His next book will be on school reform linked to urban revitalization.