School boards are under fire and overworked, but they are here to stay. Here is a practical guide to improving their operation. Filled with real-life examples of sound board action, Effective School Boards presents a useful model for boards who want to make a difference in improving education and leading wisely. In this book, Eugene Smoley analyzes information received from extensive interviews with school board members about the key elements of highly functional boards and offers advice and insights to help boards make better decisions, act collaboratively, relate to their communities, and plan strategically. He outlines three stages of board improvement--self-assessment, monitoring, and development--highighting how boards can partner with district superintendents to lead change. Practical tools for improvement include a self-evaluation questionnaire, a sample format for retreats and conferences, and concrete suggestions to assist school board members, superintendents, concerned citizens, business leaders, foundations, and anyone who cares about howtoday's schools are governed.