Do State Boards of Education Offer an Avenue for Public Voice?
Digital technologies provide new opportunities for increased participation by the general public in state and federal governance. In this article, we examine opportunities for public engagement in one type of state-level governmental body: the State Board of Education (SBOE). Limited research has focused on SBOEs, particularly the extent to which these powerful policy actors are accessible to the public. Drawing on the Open Government Maturity Model (OGMM), we examine data on the accessibility and opportunities for public engagement offered by 47 SBOEs to interrogate the validity of the assumption that SBOEs are avenues for public voice. We considered each SBOE to be a unique study participant and their websites to be their “electronic public faces.” Data were collected from SBOE websites on 39 different variables related to SBOE accessibility and used to create an SBOE E-Accessibility Index. Findings suggest that while most SBOEs meet lower levels of the OGMM’s criteria, they do not support meaningful public engagement in SBOE work.
Young, M.D., VanGronigen, B., Rodriguez, K., Tmimi, S. & McCrorey, A. (2020). Do State Boards of Education offer an avenue for public voice? Urban Education, 1-29. DOI: 10.1177/0042085920953887