That was the resolution being debated at Harvard recently. On the negative side Charles Finn, president of the Fordham Foundation, called elected school boards "worse than a dinosaur, they are more like an education sinkhole". Arguing on the other side was Anne Bryant, executive director of the National School Board Association (no bias there :-) who defended school boards by saying that there are some bad ones but "if the state legislature acts stupid, do we talk about replacing legislatures?". I might be able to get behind that idea!
We go to the polls in a few weeks to elect the board that runs the system I work for and I really can’t work up much emotion one way or the other. For one thing none of the candidates have really said anything about what they would do to improve schools, other than the usual political platitudes (improve education! support teachers! cut spending!). But no matter who is elected, the board will spend a lot of time on trivialities and will probably send our office the same questions about our training programs we answered last year – and the year before. And they’ll cut our budget again. Board members always see professional development programs as big pots of wasted money.