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What Can Cause School Boards to Go Bad?

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) As Buffalo's and Hamburg's school boards deal with a number of squabbles, one Regent talks generally about why they happen and what can be done to avoid it.

Regent Bob Bennett says a school board has some simple objectives: pick a qualified leader, work with that superintendent to come up with a three year strategic plan, and make sure the superintendent hires qualified people to lead teachers and principals moving forward. He says it's all about student performance, and the first step is to "leave the ego at the door. Make sure you can really function as a good policy board and a qualified leader, and the districts that do that, regardless of demographic, are the ones doing well." Bennett says the board has to make sure everyone is doing the job they were hired to do.

Bennett says some people run for school board for the wrong reasons. "Might be to get Uncle Henry hired or to get Jimmy on the soccer team, and nothing to do with student performance. That's bad behavior," says Bennett. "They basically don't act like a policy board to make sure the rules and guidelines and standards and performance of children are what they should be."

Bennett declined to comment on specific issues regarding the Buffalo and Hamburg school districts.

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