Members of district school boards, also known as school trustees, are under pressure like never before. That’s because in the wake of COVID-19, parents and other taxpayers are finally paying attention to their work.
To bear the burden of educational leadership in the higher education space, members of college and university boards of trustees enjoy assistance from a wide range of national organizations–from more institutional associations like the Association of Governing Boards (AGB) to more academic-focused entities like ACTA (the American Council of Trustees & Alumni).
ACTA works with college trustees who insist on putting academics first, helping them see past the smoke that obscures the real purpose of an institution of higher learning. AGB helps trustees conduct strategic planning and provides guidance in understanding the difference between…say…policy and administration.
So what about K-12 trustees? To whom can they turn for help in navigating their responsibilities? Is there a state-based group that works with school board members?
Well, there is now.
Enter the Carolinas Academic Leadership Network (CALN).
The purpose of CALN is a bit of a K-12 hybrid of the higher ed work of ACTA and AGB: to help school district trustees focus on their #1 mission: ensuring academic excellence. In the last few months, Palmetto Promise Institute has been working with the John Locke Foundation (North Carolina) to ramp up CALN.
To launch the effort here in South Carolina, CALN held its first event in Columbia last month. The topics of the day were “how to communicate effectively in the media” and “the basics of board parliamentary procedure.” The first-ever conferees raved about the quality of the training. It was a great start, but only a start.
We should note that other organizations in South Carolina work with school trustees. However, these organizations are much larger and have a much broader range of services. CALN is able to provide more laser-focused, individualized professional development. CALN is a needed supplement to existing work.
Stay tuned to Palmetto Promise Institute for more about the Carolinas Academic Leadership Network!
You can also learn more about CALN here.
It is the mission of the Carolinas Academic Leadership Network to advance student achievement by helping public school board members hone their leadership skills in governance, professional development, communications, legislative outreach, networking, and policy.