School Boards Improving Student Outcomes - Teamwork and Synergy

We have known for many years many best practices for teachers and administrators to improve student outcomes. For example, John Dewey wrote about how hands-on learning can provide a better learning environment to enhance student outcomes in 1936. But, it has only been in the past few years that research has shown how school boards can impact the improvement of student outcomes through their behaviors. The diagram below shows what the most current research tells us on what actions school boards can take to improve student outcomes: 
Region 7 ESC School Board Behaviors That Improve Student Outcomes Infographic
First and foremost, school boards in collaboration with the superintendent must have the prerequisite of teamwork and synergy before you can implement strategies such as goal setting and progress monitoring. Without building a team with the mindset to focus on improving student outcomes, there will be no impact at the school board level to improve student outcomes in the organization. It really is quite simple, school boards will impact the areas they spend the most time on during board-authorized public meetings. If you spend time discussing, deliberating, and debating the color of the seats on the new school bus, you will impact the color of the seats. If you spend time focusing on how many students can read on grade level, then you impact the amount of students reading on grade level. 
The greatest gift we have in life is our ability to choose. We are given this ability by the good lord above, the country we live in, and through education. The greatest asset we have in life is our time. Time is the only currency that truly exists. Therefore the question has to be asked, where are we choosing to spend our time? School boards that choose to spend their time progress monitoring student outcomes through the development of goals by receiving calendared monitoring reports detailing student progress and action plans will impact student outcomes by creating a student outcome-focused local accountability system.
In order to create such a system governance teams (school boards and superintendents) have to make a mindset revolution from the common pretending that training will give them what is needed to a new mindset that consistent coaching is what will provide the support needed to intensely focus and impact student outcomes.
Region 7 ESC School Board Improving Student Outcomes Team and Synergy Mindset Revolution
Governance coaches are committed to providing continual coaching and support to school boards, board members, and superintendents as they work to implement the behaviors that have been shown to increase student outcomes.  The continual engagement with a coach has been shown to make a difference in the successful implementation of best practices to improve student outcomes.
If you are committed to intensely focusing on improving student outcomes then get engaged with a governance coach to support the development and fidelity of implementation of the research-based best practices. If you are not sure if you are in need of coaching then ask……
  1. Do we have a vision and goals that are focused on what students know and are able to do? 
  2. Do we give and/or receive regularly, calendared, monitoring reports on student progress? 
  3. What do we spend our time on in board meetings? 
  4. Are you investing the majority of your time as a governance team on student outcomes? 
You will impact the areas in which you invest the most time!
Updated January 19, 2023
Region 7 ESC Drew Howard
Dr. Howard has served in education as a teacher, principal, and superintendent in both small and mid-size schools, and as the associate commissioner of school governance for the Texas Education Agency (TEA). He has now trained over 100 school boards with the sole mission to support the implementation of research-based behaviors to improve student outcomes.