Amid today's heightened attention on student achievement, school boards find their responsibilities intensified and transformed. In this age of accountability, all school boards need to consider how best to maintain a focus on student achievement and promote it through district and school policies. The Essential School Board Book answers this challenge in direct and practical terms. It highlights effective practices that are common to high-functioning boards around the country-boards that are working successfully with their superintendents and communities to improve teaching and learning. In a highly readable and accessible fashion, the book summarizes research linking school board practices to student achievement. It features stories of sixteen diverse boards around the country-elected and appointed; rural, urban, and suburban-and the policies and procedures they have employed to enhance student achievement. Also included is a resource section for those investigating successful school board policies and practices in more depth.