Monday, March 16, 2009

City School Board gets graded

The Pittsburgh School Board earned a C+ by an A Plus Schools program called "Board Watch". Five primary factors resulted in the board's grade, which were focus and mission, accessibility, conduct, clarity and competency. These grades were provided by Board Watch respondents, who have been trained in good governance and policies. So far, there are 38 volunteers that have attended various board meetings from November 2008 to February 2009. After going to a meeting, each respondent evaluated the meeting in a survey that contributed to the grades.

A Plus Schools Executive Director Carey Harris says public accessibility in particular needs to be improved. They are simple tasks, however she says they will result in having a better informed community and improving student achievement in the long run.

- 45 percent of respondents could easily get into the building and find the meeting location
- 38 percent felt welcomed at the meeting
- 97 percent were able to get an agenda, but 50 percent of those who received the agenda had trouble understanding the information it contained

Harris says there will be regular report cards based on Board Watch reports. Board Watch is an effort that was officially announced by A Plus Schools in January.

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