"There is a lot of discussion nationally, and particularly in West Virginia, about the role of school boards, and we're entering into that with the audit. There will be quite a bit of discussion about the viability and the very nature of school boards and the nature of local governance. We are ahead of the curve with this," he said.
"Stakes are higher now. A big part of this was to get everyone to come to the altar to see where they are and maybe, as a result, avoid state takeovers because we are persistently looking at performance."
Rector pushed for action to be taken on the assessment's results.
"I believe in school boards, but I know we're under threat. This gives us the opportunity to take on that kind of business perspective to explain better to folks what it is we do and what our value is," she said. "We need to spend more time looking at these areas, and I'd like to see an action step coming out of here."
One of those steps could be the better promotion of county goals to improve schools, Rector said.
"I'm not sure that we have strong, verbally expressed goals. We have them, we want to strengthen facilities and increase WESTEST scores. But do we verbalize those and put them out there for others to communicate and see? I'm not sure," she said.
The results of counties' self-assessments will contribute to the development of statewide standards for highly functional county school boards, as set by the state School Board Association.
Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.m...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.