Book Review                                        Page 69

Vanishing School Boards: Where School Boards Have Gone, Why We Need Them, and How We Can Bring Them Back

by Patrick Rice, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, Md., 2014, 237 pp., $35.95 softcover

School boards and public schools are under siege. In Vanishing School Boards, author Patrick Rice describes the forces and pressures impacting today’s school boards. He sets forth an argument for why school boards are best positioned to provide the leadership our communities want from their public schools and outlines the steps necessary to regain public trust.

Rice, who is a field services director with the Illinois Association of School Boards, encourages superintendents to join with the school board to form a team capable of dealing with and adapting to the politics surrounding school reform and school accountability. He demonstrates the need for superintendents to promote and participate in school board trainings, finding that superintendent success is correlated with the success of the board.

Board member survey results from across the nation are presented: useful insights for any superintendent or board leader interested in the range of school board thought on a variety of important topics.

This book illustrates how effectively governed school boards can have a positive impact on student achievement.

Reviewed by Kenneth E. Hoover, superintendent, Monroe Public Schools, Monroe, Wash.

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