J. H. Snider is the president of iSolon.org, a nonprofit public policy institute. Although Snider's specialty is the intersection of democratic reform and new media, he occasionally writes about education policy, where his work has been published in national publications, including the Washington Post, Education Week, and USA Today, and in several textbooks widely used in education schools. Snider has a Ph.D. in American Government from Northwestern University. From March 2010 to February 2011 he was vice chair and chair of Anne Arundel County's Countywide Citizen Advisory Committee.
Does the procedure for appointing SBNC members violate the core democratic principle of one-person, one-vote?
A Washington Post op-ed I published on May 24, 2003, "Getting Real on Raising Test Scores," described Anne Arundel County as "ground zero of Maryland's test-based accountability reform agenda. Two years later Washington Post education reporter, Linda Perlstein, left her job and spent the 2005-6 school year in Anne Arundel County writing a book, Tested, which critiqued Anne Arundel County's implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act. It was disappointing to me that neither my article nor Perlstein's far more impressive work was ever the subject of a public school board discussion or local newspaper article. In my opinion, this reflects poorly on the quality of democratic deliberation on education issues within the County.
Jim Snider's proposal to reform Anne Arundel County's school board electoral system
In my judgment, this proposal combines the best features of the Anne Arundel County School Board Nominating Convention and the best features of an elected school board. Specifically, it combines the higher quality democratic deliberation associated with a self-selected nominating convention and the more rigorous democratic accountability associated with an election.
Click here for the full proposal.