I’ve always been interested in the role that gender plays in society. That interest has been reflected in the stories I’ve written for American School Board Journal over the years. I’ve written about the shortage of male teachers, single-gender schools, and girls and bullying.
I’ve written several stories about a dearth of women as superintendents. The numbers are better than they were in the 1990s. However, they are not where they should be considering that K-12 education is dominated by women, at least at the teacher level.
School districts lose out when they don’t consider all the talent and representation among staff when picking leaders. In “Gender Gap at the Top,” authors Lisa Elliott, Elizabeth Kirby, Chris Nicastro, Gwen Rodgers, and Douglas Reeves look at the role school boards play in encouraging and helping to build a pipeline for women to become leaders.
School boards are different, of course, since they are mostly elected, not hired. But women in politics face different challenges than their male counterparts. I’ve been mulling over writing a story about women on school boards for years. At conferences and in focus groups, during sessions and at networking meals, I’ve heard female school board members talk about their experiences.
This issue, we provided a space for women to tell their stories and for us to listen, both in print and through the videos on ASBJ’s webpage. The article, “Women on Board,” is part of NSBA’s Women in Leadership initiative, which you’ll be hearing about very soon.
Also in this issue, contributing editor Glenn Cook, in “Crime & Punishment,” takes a look at how school boards across the country are rethinking their relationships with the police, particularly school resource officers, in light of recent charges of police brutality.
And we are pleased to feature award-winning programs and people in this issue: The Leading Edge Award honors innovative work by a state school boards association. The Annual Award for Urban School Board Excellence, given by the Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE), recognizes an urban school board doing exemplary work. CUBE’s Benjamin Elijah Mays Lifetime Achievement Award honors individual school board members for their commitment to the educational needs of urban schoolchildren.
As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions.
Until the next issue...