Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is often used as an example of a dysfunctional elected School Board, and an argument for abolishing elected Trustees. Here are four separate and independent reports on how Trustees and school board management interacted during a particularly contentious period, and the role some elected Trustees played in striving for transparent accountability of TDSB management.
Some members of the TDSB provided more diligent oversight than others, and the board as a whole moved less swiftly than it might have to deal with correcting irregularities. But there is no indication that an appointed board would have provided more effective oversight. There have been many examples of major corporations whose boards (composed of highly-skilled well-compensated members) failed to identify or act on serious irregularities that damaged or destroyed their companies (e.g. Volkswagen, Bre-X, Enron, Lehman Brothers, Facebook, Nortel). It can be argued that an elected board with public visibility and ties to parents of students has greater ability to provide effective oversight of schools than an appointed board, or a board made of elected officials with a less focused mandate.
- Philip Preville’s view of the “soap-opera” of the TDSB (Toronto Life March 2015)
- John Lorinc’s analysis of why he thinks that we shouldn’t have elected School Board Trustees (“Class Dismissed” in Walrus magazine Oct 2015)
- Karen Howlett and Greg MacArthur on the “Culture of Fear” at TDSB (Globe and Mail, July 10, 2015)
- Margaret Wilson’s report to Ontario Minister of Education Liz Sandals on the relationship between management and Trustees at TDSB (Jan 15, 2015)