Monday, January 12, 2009

A-Plus Schools Expands Focus

A-Plus Schools is expanding its watchdog roll for classroom and student performance to monitoring the Pittsburgh Public School Board itself. It has launched “board watch” which it bills as a “good governance program.” Trained volunteers will go to all Legislative and Agenda Review meetings and fill out forms that A-Plus executive Director Carey Harris says will evaluate the board’s actions in 5 areas: Focus on mission, transparency, conduct (Including conflict resolution), roll clarity (Is the board doing its job and not the job of the Superintendent?) and competency. A-Plus will gather the forms and publish periodic reports. Harris says the school district can only be as good as the board demands it to be and the board will only be as good as the public demands. She says one of the goals is to get the community more engaged in the actions of the board. A-Plus will grade the board but not individual board members. If the program is successful the program may be expanded to include budget and business and finance meetings.

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