About Board Watch
Board Watch is a grassroots effort involving volunteers who are trained to observe Pittsburgh Public School Board meetings. These volunteers are informed citizens serving as independent observers and evaluators of the School Board’s governance.
How Board Watch Advances Equity and Excellence:
- Promotes an open, transparent, accountable and effective School Board;
- Encourages civil and professional School Board conduct;
- Informs the public about School Board performance;
- Educates the public about the importance of effective School Board governance and how to recognize it;
- Identifies areas where action or improvement is needed;
- Raises the public’s expectations for School Board governance; and
- Ensures monitoring of issues involving student achievement and equity.
Volunteers are residents of the City of Pittsburgh who are trained by A+ Schools so they understand how School Boards work and recognize good governance practices. Each Board Watch observer attends school board meetings and completes an individual report after each meeting. The report includes notes on the behaviors observed and a scaled survey indicating the level of observed good governance practices. Responses are calculated for each meeting and translated into a grade for each of the five indicators of good governance.
- Since the program began, more than 100 volunteers have evaluated the School Board’s governance
- Overtime, grades have risen from a C to a consistent B.
- School Board members improved public access by posting agendas online in advance of meetings.
- School Board members moved the public hearing to the week of the legislative meeting — providing the opportunity for public comment on issues prior to a Board vote.
- School Board members began holding workshops to review and recommend policy changes — enhancing their role as policy makers for the school district.
Last Updated on March, 2014