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Berlin Board of Education Recognized in ‘American School Board Journal’

The town’s school district is getting a little added recognition – thanks in part to a spread in the February issue that identified Berlin as a “professional board” in an expose.

Credit: Patch Archives.
Credit: Patch Archives.
Say what you will about the Berlin Board of Education, call their efforts “boring” or uninteresting. That’s just how they like it.

The Berlin Board of Education is getting widespread recognition these days, but it’s not the decisions they’ve made or any high-profile story casting them into the spotlight. Instead, the board is set on taking care of business – and its this “boring professionalism” that has earned them honors as a featured board in the American School Board Journal.

The Journal, a publication of the National School Boards Association, features the Berlin Board of Education as a school board success story. The article writes on how the Berlin Board has standardized a shared understanding of its work, and a way of deliberating, behaving and conducting itself that reflects this common belief. In particular, the wide popularity and influence of Berlin’s member handbook as a guide to professional board conduct and action is cited.

“As noted in the article, school board members do more than vote on issues and make policy; they set the tone and model the behavior for the entire district. And it is this influence that the board member handbook seeks to leverage for the benefit of the entire school system and community,” School Superintendent David Erwin wrote in a press release.

“The result is a high-performing school district with improving student achievement,” he said.

Despite occasional criticism from local taxpayers, Berlin schools have put together an impressive resume that includes national presentations and recognition for the second year in a row by the College Board for increasing access to Advanced Placement while at the same time increasing the percentage of students scoring 3 or higher on AP exams.

While national recognition of its efforts is appreciated, “it is never the goal,” Board President Gary Brochu said. Instead, the Board’s efforts are for the benefit of the entire school system and community, he said.

“The Board’s work is about the importance of continuity, about leaving a legacy and a board culture that will ensure an excellent school district for years to come,” he said.

For the complete article, “A Guide to Good Board Behavior,” featured in the February 2014 edition of the American School Board Journal, click the link provided.

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Ed Froem January 22, 2014 at 06:11 PM
From an earlier patch article "Posted by Robert Mayer (Editor) , June 11, 2013 at 10:19 PM 2 Comments Recommend Superintendent of Schools David B. Erwin "We're going to hold off on implementing the 8:40 a.m. start time until the 2014-2015 school year," Erwin said. "We listened to the concerns of the parents. They said three months was not long enough for them to make plans. I think that is debatable but we want to sensitive to the parents' concerns." Erwin said the petition had nothing to do with the decision. "We don't rule or govern by a petition," he said. "To be honest, I didn't even look at the petition." Public employees should never have that kind of arrogance.

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