This article asks the question; why must schools invite the public to join the dialogue on public education? New structures and committees are being erected in communities across the nation to build stronger connections between schools, school boards, and communities. One such structure is a district advisory committee composed of community leaders. Its purpose is to improve the quality of communication between the school district and the community. It looked for ways to increase community ties to the schools, to make residents more aware of what was going on, and to gain community feedback. Though this committee in New Jersey has functioned well and is very supportive, an increasing concern is that divisions within the community might contaminate both the committee and school board. Schools and school boards need better communication from the community to better the efficiency of the schools. Community input plays a vital role in developing school goals.
Students and parents have the most immediate stake in school quality, but the community also has significant interests in the schools. The public, or community, has an important role in public education. Three reasons arise as to why community involvement is essential for a stronger school system. First, only the community can create “public interest.” Without good communication on public interest, elected officials cannot properly determine what is best for both the schools and community. Se...
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