A program evaluation of the state mandated school board member training by Missouri Association of Rural Educators
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] This study evaluated the school board member training offered by Missouri Association of Rural Education (M.A.R.E.). Three groups of school board members were studied and compared: Trained Novices, school board members with between 12 and 22 months board service training from M.A.R.E.; Untrained Novices, school board members who with between 12 and 22 months board service but with no training; and Complete Novices, school board members newly elected to their board within two months and with no training. M.A.R.E. provided their pre and post knowledge assessment instrument given before and after training to determine what knowledge is gained as a result of training. A one way ANOVA determine that training had a significant impact on knowledge of the topics included in the assessment. Although M.A.R.E.'s stated objectives and intended outcomes are to increase knowledge and awareness about education in rural Missouri, effective education, and promising practices; interviews and a focus group results indicated the most prevalent recurring themes from M.A.R.E. training were school finance and the basic processes of boards and board meetings. A convergence of all the quantitative and qualitative data revealed the following. (1) M.A.R.E.'s pre and post knowledge assessment does not assess its state objectives and intended outcomes specifically. (2) School board members who receive training from M.A.R.E. and their superintendents are very satisfied with M.A.R.E. training. (3) By increasing the knowledge of school board members in the areas of basic processes of boards and board meetings, board members can increase knowledge and confidence and thereby positively affect student achievement and school improvement.
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