Literature review on the linkages between high-quality public education and governing school boards published by national association



Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Literature review on the linkages between high-quality public education and governing school boards published by national association

As part of work to discuss the value of governing school boards in the delivery of high-quality public education, the Canadian School Boards Association has published a third-party literature review, conducted by Valerie Overgaard, PhD and former Associate Superintendent in Vancouver. This review is in addition to previous studies and literature reviews commissioned by the CSBA, which are available on the CSBA website at

“In the ongoing attack and scrutiny of democratically elected governing school boards across Canada, we sought a credible researcher to examine the literature regarding linkages between governing school boards and high-quality public education systems,” said Laurie French, President of the Canadian School Boards Association.

The literature review examined dozens of studies and research papers to determine the relationship between a regional governance model and student success. “Through this review it is clear that high functioning governing school boards support student success and quality public education. Across Canada, provincial school boards associations and the Canadian School Boards Association have been supporting school boards in their governance models to strengthen them and ultimately provide even greater support to students, schools and communities,” says Ms. French.

Citing a specific study out of the United States, Ms. Overgaard writes in the executive summary, “Starting in a focused way with the ‘Lighthouse Study’ in Iowa, two decades of research have consistently shown that school boards can make a difference in
student achievement.  Literally hundreds of studies since then, conducted in many countries around the world, have shown a significant relationship between good school board governance and student achievement.”

The CSBA is sharing this literature review widely to provide evidence-based information about the value of school boards. “We ask that Canadians and governments take the time to read the report and see for themselves the academic research that supports the value of governing school boards in public education. The research is there, and we are putting it in the hands of those deciding what the future of public education in their provinces will look like,” said Ms. French.

The Canadian School Boards Association represents elected governing school board members from across the country through their provincial associations. The CSBA champions collaboration and innovation in public education as applied to both the delivery of education and governing the system.



For more information, contact:

Laurie French