District News & Events
Selected as an example of "high functioning" board of education
Berlin, CT, Monday, November 18, 2009: The Berlin Board of Education received an unusual distinction recently when it was featured in a new book about better board of education governance. The book, entitled The Essential School Board Book: Better Governance in the Age of Accountability, is published by the Harvard Education Press.
According to the publisher, The Essential School Board Book highlights effective practices from high-functioning boards of education around the country. The author, Nancy Walser, in the book's Introduction, writes that she selected sixteen "high-functioning school boards" from across the country to find "concrete examples of successful boards" and, through their examples, illustrate practices that have "contributed appreciably to student improvement."
The Berlin Board of Education was among the sixteen boards of education that are featured in the book, which includes school districts such as Boston, MA, Norfolk, VA, and La Crosse, WI. According to Board President, Gary Brochu, who was interviewed by Walser about the practices and philosophy of the Berlin Board of Education, "not only is it flattering to see your board featured in a book about high performing boars and having your practices put forward as examples for other boards," said Brochu, "but it's a wonderful affirmation of the thoughtful, unselfish and hard work of our board members."
Walser writes that "the school boards profiled in this book stand as important examples at a critical time in education….school board members in particular need to know and should know about these practices." In the book's Foreward, Professor Richard Elmore writes that the practices documented in the book "could form the basis for a reinvention of the role of local school boards in the new environment of public education."
"While it's a little head spinning to see our board's work featured in a book about outstanding practices, that certainly was not our objective when we started our continuous improvement work," said Brochu. "We just wanted to be a board of education worthy of the children that we serve." Brochu added, "the recognition is certainly welcome, but our focus remains the same – providing an exceptional education to every one of our students."