Most people agree that motivated, high quality teachers are the most important determining factor in excellent public education.
But who makes up the school board is important too. A study by the Iowa Association of School Boards compared the characteristics of school board members in high performing districts with those in low performing districts. What they found was that the school boards themselves had an important impact on the quality of schools. More specifically, school boards that set high standards, were deeply knowledgeable about teaching and learning, created a supportive environment for teachers and staff, involved their communities, and used data to make decisions, produced far better results than those which didn't.
There are real differences between the candidates for the East Penn school board on many of these dimensions. Who will set high standards? Who is knowledgeable about teaching and learning? Who will create a supportive environment for teachers and staff? Who will listen? Who has the most experience working with complex data? As you plan your vote in the election primaries one week from today, I hope you will consider how the candidates compare on these dimensions.