MASB Unveils New Governance Standards to Help Raise the Bar for Boards of Education, Board Members

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Association of School Boards is hoping to bring some civility back to public office through its newly released Board of Education Governance Standards. The standards were developed by school board members for school board members to provide a shared framework for effective school district governance and enhance student achievement.

“As board members, we have to be better,” said Michael Rochholz, President of MASB. “We can’t continue to operate under the status quo and expect better student achievement. These standards will raise the bar for board service and help board members hold themselves and their colleagues accountable.”

The research-based standards are for both whole boards of education as well as individual board members, and model the behaviors of effective boards. MASB had access to the perspectives and experiences of literally thousands of school board members and superintendents to help drive the creation of these standards.

“It’s no coincidence that districts with high student achievement have boards of education that adhere to these types of standards,” said MASB Executive Director Don Wotruba. “With such a toxic and volatile political environment right now, we need to work to bring civility back to public office. And where better to start that process than the local level?”

The State Board of Education formally endorsed the standards at its meeting last week. Other education groups stand behind them as well, including the Michigan Association of School Administrators.

“MASA fully supports the development and implementation of MASB’s Board of Education Governance Standards,” said MASA Executive Director Chris Wigent. “It is appropriate and important that boards of education are held to high and measurable standards just like the superintendents, building administrators, teachers, and other staff who are employed by these districts. We highly encourage local school districts and ISD/RESA Boards of Education to formally adopt these standards and to regularly evaluate their performance as we all continue to work together to ensure that Michigan becomes a top 10 state in 10 years.”

Boards of Education and board members who are interested in learning more about the Governance Standards can logon to Once there, they can also access a free toolkit, including a sample resolution for boards to pass in support of the standards.

MASB strongly encourages all public districts to not only adopt these standards, but to commit to and live by them.

Wotruba added, “So many volunteer their time to improve public education, and these Governance Standards will help show board members the way to conduct business, conduct themselves and ultimately, create a better and more stable learning environment for kids.”