NASBE’s Kristen Amundson talks with The Atlantic about the importance of a diversified board. Read an excerpt from the article below.
“…Kris Amundson, executive director of the National Association of State Boards of Education, said the new Fordham report confirms what she came to believe after nearly a decade on the Fairfax, Va., school board: More diverse backgrounds among individual members make for a stronger and more effective group.
‘School employees prove to be pretty good at spotting areas that others might miss, while business people might catch something else entirely,’ Amundson said. ‘I was on a board with someone who was an actual rocket scientist. We had a couple of lawyers. In a healthy board you find a way to capture all of those perspectives and talents.’
But ‘people don’t always know where their blind spots are,’ Amundson said. ‘I’m sure those school employees (in the survey) would be surprised by the disconnect between what they see and what actually exists.’
In many districts school board elections get little or no attention, and it’s unusual to have a wide field of highly qualified candidates, in part because the position often pays only a small stipend for what can turn out to be a significant amount of work. But as the Fordham report makes clear, the work of the school board (and how its members are ultimately chosen to carry out that work) should matter—to everyone. …”