District News & Events
American School Board Journal Touts Berlin as Professional Board
Berlin, CT, Tuesday, January 21, 2014: The work of boards of education, although conducted in meetings open to the public, usually takes place in relative obscurity in front of a few administrators and perhaps some members of the public. The work of the Berlin Board of Education, however, is receiving a much wider audience as it is featured in the February issue of the American School Board Journal.
The Journal, a publication of the National School Boards Association, features the Berlin BOE as a school board success story. The article writes on how the Berlin Board has standardized a shared understanding of its work, and a way of deliberating, behaving and conducting itself that reflects this common belief. In particular, the wide popularity and influence of Berlin's member handbook as a guide to professional board conduct and action is cited.
As noted in the article, school board members do more than vote on issues and make policy: They set the tone and model the behavior for the entire district. And it is this influence that the board member handbook seeks to leverage for the benefit of the entire school system and community. The result is a high-performing school district with improving student achievement. For example, Berlin was recognized for the second year in a row by the College Board for increasing access to Advanced Placement while at the same time increasing the percentage of students scoring 3 or higher on AP exams.
Superintendent of Schools, David Erwin, is quoted in the article as saying, "it's really been great working with [the Berlin BOE], because there's such an ethos of strong professionalism in this district." And the Executive Director of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, Robert Rader, states that the Berlin Board of Education "acts respectfully and responsibly to each other as well as to the staff. Hopefully, it will be institutionalized."
While national recognition of its efforts is appreciated, it is never the goal. Instead, the Board's efforts are for the benefit of the entire school system and community. As stated in the article by Gary Brochu, President of the Berlin Board of Education, "the Board's work is about the importance of continuity, about leaving a legacy and a board culture that will ensure an excellent school district for years to come."
To read the article online please use this link: A Guide to Good Board Behavior