For QESBA to successfully fight off attempts to eliminate elected Commissioners, its member Boards will need to find the ability to be respectfully collegial while at the same time promoting vigorous public debate and disagreement on issues.
How your board members and senior administrators act and interact will determine the public perception, and the future, of elected school boards. If QESBA boards are seen to be erratic, knee-jerk oppositional, or focused on partisan concerns rather than student well-being, public respect for them will evaporate. If the elected board is perceived as a “rubber stamp” for the board administration or the provincial government, or unwilling to stand up for the needs of students and the opinions of parents, the public will come to consider them as ineffective and useless.
In other words, cohesion is vital – particularly with each other, board administrators, and parents. Mixed messages, personal attacks, pursuit of individual self-interest (particularly for other political office) will alienate allies and discredit elected boards. And undue deference to authority – be it the province or board administrators – also will pave the road to irrelevance and elimination.
Please take a few minutes to complete the following questionnaire about your board and other QESBA boards, keeping in mind the concept of Collegial Disagreeability as well as the “Cohesion” and “Deference” facets of Agreeableness.
Please complete this questionnaire by Saturday May 18