An empathetic but hard-hitting book about effective school board leadership. It should be required reading for superintendents, school board members, and all elected leaders. --Anne L. Bryant, executive director, National School Boards Association The chances for providing an even better education for students increases geometrically when school boards and superintendents work together in common purpose. This book can help build the capacity of boards to support district-level improvement with wise governance and leadership. --Paul Houston, executive director, American Association of School Administrators School boards are under fire and overworked, but they are here to stay. Here is a practical guide to improving their operation. Filled with real-life examples of sound board action, Effective School Boards presents a useful model for boards who want to make a difference in improving education and leading wisely. In this book, Eugene Smoley analyzes information received from extensive interviews with school board members about the key elements of highly functional boards and offers advice and insights to help boards make better decisions, act collaboratively, relate to their communities, and plan strategically. He outlines three stages of board improvement--self-assessment, monitoring, and development--highlighting how boards can partner with district superintendents to lead change. Practical tools for improvement include a self-evaluation questionnaire, a sample format for retreats and conferences, and concrete suggestions to assist school board members, superintendents, concerned citizens, business leaders, foundations, and anyone who cares about how today's schools are governed.