Monday, October 29, 2007

Appoint don't elect

In the Sunday Seattle Times a fascinating editorial from former school board president Donald P. Neilson. Neilson, surely a liberal, concedes school boards should be appointed, not elected:
Moreover, the people who choose to run for office in our cities, particularly for school board, are often unqualified for the position. Running for public office has become so unattractive that qualified people tend not to run. This is particularly true of school boards where there is little or no status, no compensation and where board members are regularly assailed by irate citizens.
Neilson explains:
Today, there is hardly a single urban system, with an elected school board, that has put together a sustained, multiyear program of improvement in its schools. Going to an appointed school board — with prominent civic leaders providing competence and stability — gives us some chance that we can change that statistic.
Of course the same voters who can’t pick a school board are not only allowed, but encouraged to vote in Congressional and Presidential elections, and even though the democratic process fails at selecting the right people for something as mundane as a school board, it’s somehow beyond the pale to suggest the democratic process fails at selecting the right people for more important and more complex positions. And to think there those that still complain voter turnout is too low.

No comments:

Post a Comment