Ethics are essential to the successful operation of the educational system. MASB has developed indicators of effective boards and board members that encompass the most important responsibilities of a board of education. Ethics are intended to ensure that the conduct of a school board holds the respect and confidence of the community, staff, students and all constituents. It’s the belief of MASB that high ethical standards translate into a focus on student achievement, culture and conduct at board meetings and consistent accountability.
Focus on Student Achievement
- Ensure the district has a comprehensive, performance-based plan for improving student achievement.
- Advocate for and support a strategic plan.
- Set the agenda, seek information and ask questions consistent with the plan.
- Focus on issues that improve student achievement.
- Are informed about the issues before the board.
- Play an active role in committee meetings and work sessions.
- Seek information and ways the board and community can be better informed about the district’s progress through an objective analysis of data.
- Base decisions, comments and questions on objective data.
- Visit schools and other community events, in accordance with district policy, to hear from stakeholders and to help shape a positive public opinion about the district.
Culture and Conduct at Board Meetings
- Value differences of opinion and don’t let differences degenerate into personality conflicts.
- Focus the board agenda and meeting on issues related to improving student achievement.
- Publicly support the superintendent and staff.
- Seek to build consensus and an environment of trust and respect among their fellow board members.
- Ensure that familial or business relationships or special interest group affiliations don’t contribute to a bias in decisions.
- Ensure that solicited or received money, services, or other items of value from vendors or special interest groups don’t influence decisions or public perceptions.
- Ensure that commitments and directives are in the best interest of the entire board and district and not the individual board member.
- Create an environment that discourages micromanagement or undermining of the superintendent.