Who needs school boards?
Sunday, January 16, 2011; 6:15 PM
The Washington area has many school districts. Each district has a school board, more or less. (The District's board is going through a neutered phase.) Each school board has many members. Each member is being reminded this month, as meetings resume after the holidays, that their job is to endure boredom and verbal blows from citizens.
They are also chided by the school superintendents they hire, though usually not to their faces. Superintendents save their criticisms for off-the-record conversations with journalists like me, toward the end of a nice lunch. They feel better questioning the values and habits of the elected amateurs who could fire them immediately, if they wished.
The 21st century so far has not been good to school boards. Their political squabbles are often blamed for disorganized schools and low student achievement. In