Political Civility – Can We Reason Together?

Political Civility – Can We Reason Together?

This year’s Presidential Election in the United States has produced much angst about the current lack of civility in politics. It is almost impossible to avoid the increasing barrage of revelations, mudslinging and attack ads from both sides. As Canadians, we may observe this political slugfest with bemusement or horror, but we should not be … Continue reading Political Civility – Can We Reason Together?

When a Board Gets Fired – What can be learned?

When a Board Gets Fired – What can be learned?

The recent dismissal of Vancouver’s board of education (VSB) by BC’s Minister of Education has created a significant amount of anger, angst and ink. Although the firing of a board is a fairly rare occurrence, it does raise important questions about democracy, the political aspects of trusteeship, and the relationship between boards and professional staff. … Continue reading When a Board Gets Fired – What can be learned?

Does Local Governance Matter?

Does Local Governance Matter?

Sometimes it's the things that are closest to us that we take for granted and notice the least. When it comes to governance and politics it’s often the big “newsy” stories that catch our attention, such as the approaching American election, the Brexit decision, or the Royal Visit, – big stories, big headlines, famous people. … Continue reading Does Local Governance Matter?

Part 4: The Three Stages of Effective Performance Review for School Superintendents/CEOs

Part 4: The Three Stages of Effective Performance Review for School Superintendents/CEOs

The previous posts in this series outlined some of the challenges that make traditional performance reviews ineffective. One of the most significant problems is that they usually take place just once a year resulting in a report card-like review of the superintendent’s past performance. These retrospective snapshots do little to actually build performance and can … Continue reading Part 4: The Three Stages of Effective Performance Review for School Superintendents/CEOs

Part 3: Six Essential Principles in Superintendent Performance Review

Part 3: Six Essential Principles in Superintendent Performance Review

In Part 2 of this series I outlined the benefits of conducting performance reviews for school superintendents, provided they are done well.  Today’s post will discuss six essential principles that need to be embedded in the process if those benefits are to be realised. The Shared Responsibility for Student Achievement The most important partnership a … Continue reading Part 3: Six Essential Principles in Superintendent Performance Review

Part Two: Why Bother with Superintendent Performance Reviews?

Part Two: Why Bother with Superintendent Performance Reviews?

In Part One of this series I outlined the challenges and ineffectiveness of traditional performance review processes for School Superintendents. While this begs the question of why bother doing them at all, there are beneficial and necessary reasons to do performance reviews, provided they are done well. Many school boards have performance reviews written into … Continue reading Part Two: Why Bother with Superintendent Performance Reviews?

Part One: A Better Approach to Superintendent Performance Review

Part One: A Better Approach to Superintendent Performance Review

Although most boards believe that performance reviews are important, many still rely on traditional review processes that while fulfilling contractual requirements do little to actually improve performance or board/superintendent relationships. This series will outline some of the challenges with traditional performance review processes and offer a proactive alternative.   What is the Problem with Traditional … Continue reading Part One: A Better Approach to Superintendent Performance Review

Are School Trustees Learners Too?

Are School Trustees Learners Too?

In my last post, I discussed government expectations that school trustees should possess specific skills and knowledge to be successful in their governance roles.  This raises some interesting questions related to roles, equity and the essence of democracy itself. Democracy When I was the Executive Director of the BC School Trustees Association we argued against … Continue reading Are School Trustees Learners Too?

The Government’s View on Good Governance

The Government’s View on Good Governance

  Much has been written by provincial school trustee/board associations on what constitutes good governance. However, since Boards of Education (as they are called in British Columbia) serve at the pleasure of the provincial government, it would be informative to learn the government’s views on the matter. While the School Act is the legal authority … Continue reading The Government’s View on Good Governance

When All Else Fails – Part Ten of Can’t We All Just Get Along? Truths and recommendations re intra-board relations

When All Else Fails – Part Ten of Can’t We All Just Get Along? Truths and recommendations re intra-board relations

The focus of the previous posts in this series has largely been on prevention – practices and procedures that boards can employ to reduce the likelihood of board disharmony. Unfortunately, despite the best of efforts, sometimes board members just can’t get along. This final post in the series explores what to do when all else … Continue reading When All Else Fails – Part Ten of Can’t We All Just Get Along? Truths and recommendations re intra-board relations