The Washington Post

Prince George’s school board members respond to survey questions

Ever wonder what your colleagues think of you or the work you are doing?

Members of the Prince George’s County Board of Education had a chance to find out during their recent two-day retreat.

Barbara Anderson, a senior consultant with the Panasonic Foundation, which conducted the retreat, rattled off the answers board members gave to questions asked during individual interviews with the consultants. No names were divulged.

First, Anderson provided responses to what motivated members to become a part of the school board.

“My passion as an activist,” said one.

“Parent with a child in the district,” said another.

Then, Anderson gave the answers to what members thought were the core values that drive the work of the board.

One member said: “I’m not aware of any.”

Some asked: “They exist on paper?”

Another said: “They need to be revisited.”

Anderson gave the answers when members were asked to identify the board’s challenges.

“Dealing with the lingering bitterness over the legislation,” one said.

“We have to learn to trust each other,” said another.

“Creating a vision of the system — a long-term plan that we can stick to,” one said.

“Take things out of the personal realm,” said another.

What is the wealth of the board?” Anderson asked.

“Smart, talented and diverse group of good ideas,” one said.

“Everyone comes from a different set of life skills,” said another.

And how well does the board communicate, Anderson asked.

“The board does not communicate well with the chief executive officer,” said one.

“There needs to be more transparency,” said another. “Sometimes we get material at the meeting.”

Board members also offered advice to Segun Eubanks, the board chairman, in the survey: “Build consensus,” said one. “Reach out individually to ensure trust,” said another.

The board held the retreat to forge a better working relationship and design a game plan for the future.

Ovetta Wiggins covers Maryland state politics in Annapolis.



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